Taxonomy A to Z at SLA 2014

Taxonomists – whether you’re an experienced professional, a novice, or wondering what the term means – Special Libraries Association (SLA) has something for you. This year’s annual conference will be June 8 – 10 in Vancouver, BC, Canada, and includes educational sessions, roundtable discussions, and networking opportunities that will let you meet and mingle with fellow taxonomists. Not a member of SLA? No matter — the conference is open to members, non-members, and students.

Even before the conference begins, you can participate in a full-day workshop devoted to the topic of taxonomy. Choose from one of these two CE sessions scheduled for Saturday, June 7:

Workshop Title: Taxonomy Integration: Content Management, Navigation and Search

Level: Advanced
Instructors: Michael Kilgore, InfoClear Consulting; Wendi Pohs, InfoClear Consulting
Summary: It’s time for taxonomists to move past the basics and gain a deeper understanding of the role that taxonomies play in organizations, especially in productivity applications like content management, web site navigation, and search. This all-day course begins with the basics of taxonomy integration, and moves on to analyze specific case studies that show how you can enrich and improve your web site, enhance your metadata, and boost your search engine’s relevance. You’ll come away with an understanding about how you can be a successful member of a software development team and have a set of Best Practices that you can apply immediately.

Workshop Title: Introduction to Taxonomies

Level: Fundamental
Instructors: Margie Hlava, Access Innovations; Bob Kasenchak, Access Innovations
Summary: This course introduces participants to the basic methodologies and techniques for taxonomy development, as well as providing an overview of taxonomy standards and their application in search, web sites, publishing, retail and e-commerce, records management and other organizational needs. Participants will explore key concepts of taxonomies, thesauri, indexing, classification and filtering. Discussion will include the basics of a taxonomy record and fundamental term relationships. Attendees will put concepts into practice through multiple exercises, including creating a simple taxonomy. Related software tools will also be discussed.

Each workshop costs: $299 (SLA Members); $199 (Student/Retired SLA Members); $399 (Non-SLA Members)
Note: prices are in US dollars and include course materials, a box lunch, and beverages at breaks. Courses are open to SLA members and non-members. You do not need to register for the full conference to sign up for either CE workshop.

No-Host networking dinner

After an educational Saturday, network with your fellow taxonomists at the no-host dinner that evening starting at 6:30 p.m. There is no additional cost other than your dinner. As one veteran attendee said, “I’ve been to 3 dinners, and they always go by so quickly you don’t realize it has been hours. The dinners are held in interesting places with excellent food and there’s lots of laughter. The best part is meeting other working professionals and students interested in the field. We can talk shop at length and get ideas for the next project, learn about other aspects of the field, and learn from the pitfalls others have fallen into. Spouses are always welcome, and they often contribute to the conversations by providing an outsider’s perspective.”

The three-day SLA conference begins the next day, Sunday, June 8, and includes the many taxonomy sessions listed below. See the taxonomy website events calendar [] for more details.

Sunday, June 8, 2014:

Taxonomies: Everything You Need to Know to Start a Taxonomy From Scratch
Speakers: Heather Hedden, Cengage Learning; Jacob Ratliff, National Fire Protection Association

I Don’t Have Time for Metadata! Adding Automated Categorization to your Workflow
Speakers: Denise Bedford, Kent State University; Susan Golden, Zimmerman Associates; Bob Kasenchak, Access Innovations; Joyce Ward, LexisNexis

Monday, June 9, 2014:

The Bionic InfoPro – Machine Augmentation of Competitive Intelligence
Speakers: Arik Johnson, Aurora WDC; Elaine Lasda Bergman, University at Albany

The Search for Meaning and Semantics: Taxonomies Get it Done
Speakers: Denise Bedford, Kent State University; Joseph Busch, Taxonomy Strategies; Branka Kosovac, dotWit Consulting, Inc.
Managing Digital Overload: Taking Advantage of Taxonomies

Taxonomy Division Open House
Networking event

Tuesday, June 10, 2014:

Teach me! SharePoint, Metadata and Taxonomy Lessons from Experience
Speakers: Mike Doane, Term Management, LLC; Anne Rogers, Cargill

Roundtable: Current Topics in Taxonomies

Digital Government Strategy: Building a 21st Century Platform to Better Serve Our Constituencies
Speakers: Rachel Flagg, U.S. General Services Administration; Sandra Singh, Vancouver Public Library; Chris Zammarelli, U.S. State Department

eDiscovery: Everything You Need to Know But Were Afraid to Ask

Read the pre-conference brochure (pdf) or check the SLA online planner to learn about additional informative programs, networking opportunities, and industry exhibitors showcasing pertinent products and services. View the two-minute video to get a glimpse of the opportunities available to you, and the beauty of Vancouver that awaits you.

What is the cost? That depends upon you. If you’re an SLA member and register by the early bird deadline of Friday, April 11, the cost of the three days is $529 USD. If you wait, the advance registration rate jumps to $699 USD for SLA members.
If you’re not an SLA member, the advance cost is $1040 USD. But, if you join SLA and register by Friday, April 11, you qualify for the early bird member rate of $714 USD! You save $326 – have access to all three days of the conference, and gain the benefits of membership. You can also register for one of the CE courses at the member rate of $299! But hurry, the early bird rate ends by end of business day, (4:00 PM ET) Friday April 11. Register today!

Consider joining SLA’s Taxonomy Division. The Division addresses ways to organize and structure information so that content is accessible and useful. It offers a practical context for exploring issues and sharing experiences related to planning, creating and maintaining taxonomies, thesauri, authority files, and other controlled vocabularies and information structures. If you are interested in learning more about the division, or joining us, please see the division website for information about upcoming events.

D’Ann Hamilton-White
SLA Taxonomy Division, PR Chair

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