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Special Interest Group Archive: SIG Home

These are the notes from meetings dating back to 2015.

Special Interest Groups

Southeastern NY Library Resources Council sponsors an array of Special Interest Groups (SIGs) where members can join with others in the library community to exchange ideas and keep themselves informed about their professional specialties.

Special Interest Groups play a vital role in Southeastern's networking and professional development programs. We thank our conveners for volunteering their services and invite you to consult the resources included in this guide as you plan to participate in a meeting.

Active SIGs and ongoing include:

  • Academic Library Directors
  • Cataloging
  • Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion
  • High School to College Transition
  • Information Technology
  • Information Literacy Library Instruction
  • Library Support Staff
  • Reference
  • Resource Sharing

One-off and dormant SIGs include:

  • Copyright
  • Digitization
  • Grant Writing
  • Student Assistants, Interns & Volunteers

SIG Meeting Guidelines

How can SENYLRC Members participate?

Members are welcome to attend any of the SIG meetings that they find relevant to their job situtionand related work responsibilities. Meetings are designed to be interactive, where members actively participate in the agenda and outcomes of the meeting.

Interested in convening a meeting?

SIGs are a vital part of SENYLRC’s community, and we value the perspective they bring to our programming. This is an opportunity to lead your colleagues in a discussion on your area of expertise, or even a topic you want to explore in more depth. Each SIG is convened by a volunteer from the SENYLRC community or by a SENYLRC staff member.

What do Conveners do?

SIG Conveners (and co-conveners) plan meetings for their SIG interest. They arrange topics, speakers, and dates for SIG events through correspondence with SENYLRC. Conveners can also set-up tours for their groups, as well as in-person social events.

Communication for SIGs

We welcome ideas for new SIGS, and will include those in this LibGuide. Please contact Carolyn Bennett to coordinate.

General Guidelines:

● Each SIG topic may have 3 or 4 meetings each year in SENYLRC’s Conference Room or at an offsite location.
● Conveners are responsible for the meeting programming and we will assist with promotion.
● Available equipment for standard SIG meetings in the SENLYRC conference room includes podium, smart board, and flip board.

How to Convene and Schedule a SIG:

● Contact Carolyn to secure a meeting date and time about 2 months in advance
● Let Carolyn know where you want the meeting to take place.
● Send meeting description to Carolyn when available.



  • Promote the SIG Meeting on our email lists and webpage once an event description/agenda has been submitted
  • Manage registrations
  • 1-3 days before the meeting, Carolyn will send the convener(s) a roster of registered attendees, including names, institutions, and email addresses
  •  1-2 weeks before your meeting, Carolyn will contact you with a registration update and to inquire about:
    • your preferred room layout
    • the instructor’s equipment needs

Learn more!

Feel free to consult the resources included on this LibGuide for any additional questions you may have. You can also contact Carolyn Bennett

Meeting Length

Try as we might, there will be times when our meeting plans run counter to the time frame illustrated on the agenda. Here are a few ideas for things to do with your group should your meeting run over or under the time frame you've allotted.

First things first: 

  • Try to accurately assess the true length of time each element of your meeting will need. Account for spaces that may run a little over by padding the time needed (Q & A, especially).
  • Create and distribute an agenda to everyone who will be at your meeting.
  • Be sure to discuss time frames with any and all speakers who will be present at the meeting - including what's expected in Q & A

During the meeting:

  • Keep time and make use of a time card. If presentations run over, gently intervene with "I'm afraid this is all the time we have. If you have any questions for Speaker X, please contact them at [email address] or feel free to chat after the meeting."
  • If you find that one of your participants is monopolizing time with questions, politely let them know that you'd like to make sure that other participants have a chance to ask any questions they might have. 
  • Know that participants are keenly aware of the end time created for the meeting and will pack up en masse when the clock strikes even. If you are at risk for going overtime, be sure to adjust later presentations accordingly, and go over any need-to-know business if and when you find a logical gap in the procedings.

If your meeting runs short (rare, but we've seen it happen!):

  • If you are running a panel discussion or a presentation session, consider transitioning to a discussion session - either in small (facilitated!) groups or one large group. If you do not have questions prepared for this, a good way to start a discussion is to ask participants to weigh in on how their library or archive is involved with [insert meeting topic here]. Take notes! Listen for keywords and use these to ask follow up questions. (See the Meeting Facilitation section above for more).
  • If your group discussion runs short by a significant margin and you've run through your prepared questions, see if you can solicit on-site feedback for topics that might be more palatable to the group for the next meeting. While there may come time to call a spade a spade, honesty is the best policy for meetings that didn't run as imagined.

Above all else, remember that your meeting participants have taken time out of their busy schedules to spend time on the topic you've put forward. Please be considerate of this and be mindful of time.

Meeting Facilitation

A few guidelines for facilitating a meeting. These work well for large and small group discussions alike, and feel free to amend them to your needs.

Before you meet:

  • Have an agenda prepared and share the plan with meeting attendees in advance by emailing it to SENYLRC. (See the meeting minutes from previous SIGs for ideas.)
  • Let us know one or two days ahead of your meeting if you have any directions and any last minute notes to include in the confirmation email SENYLRC will send to attendees.

During the meeting:

  • Arrive early to individually greet your meeting participants. Get them talking and sharing individually before the meeting even begins.
  • Ask participants to introduce themselves. Model the introduction you'd like to hear by being the first to say your name, your workplace, and what you'd like to get out of the meeting. Take notes on what your participants say so that you can make sure to address these things (one way or another) by meeting's end.
  • Review the agenda one last time so that your participants are fully aware of what to expect. Give time frames if needed.
  • Have questions prepared in advance. Be flexible - the discussion will go where it wants to, and later questions may be answered naturally. When this happens, check those questions off the list so that the meeting does not become redundant.
  • At the conclusion of the prepared questions, review your notes from the introductions. Make sure each topic has been addressed (you may even consider going around the room with reminders of what the participant said in their intro): "when we first got started, you indicated that you'd like to discuss X..." 
  • Collect information on what topic should be covered at the next meeting. Set a rough date.
  • Explain how and why you will be contacting meeting participants next.

After the meeting:

  • Give any additional notes to SENYLRC so we can include them in the minutes for the LibGuide.
  • If any crowdsourced items were discussed at the meeting, request these in the follow up email as well.
  • Indicate the next steps for your group.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to ensure that each and every participant got what they needed from your meeting. Continually working in this model will foster participation and make your meeting a definite go-to when your next date rolls around.

Meeting Formats

Unconference / Small Group Discussion
The Council has seen great success in convening a meetings where participants Identify topics that are of immediate interest. For example, the Regional ILL Committee has hosted several Unconfdrences on a variety of topics. The format of a Unconference may also be convened with a vote for the top three or four topics and participants select the group they'd like to join. Each group assigns a note-taker so that ideas can be shared with the larger group as a wrap-up.

User's Group 
Members of ghe group convene to share experiences and ideas to improve their understanding and use of a particular product or service. The council regularly holds HRVH User Group meetings for members who participate in the HRVH service. 

Lightning Talks
Lightning talks are a productive way of sharing information and ideas on discreet projects going on in the industry. Lightning talks can be solicited in advance of the meeting - or they can be seeded by meeting conveners. Slides should be accumulated and passed along to your contact at SENYLRC so they can be set up in the conference room before the meeting.

Long form presentations
SIG meetings can also be comprised of longer presentations (ca. 20 minutes followed by Q & A) from group members. It is helpful to identify and recruit speakers with projects that are helpful to your SIG in advance of the meeting, but a call for participation works too. Slides should be gathered and passed along to your contact at SENYLRC so they can be set up before the meeting.

Presentations from industry experts are always welcome. If you know someone with good information to share with SIG members, feel free to invite them to speak. 

Panel discussion
Hear multiple perspectives at once with a pre-selected group of voices from the industry. Panel discussion can include presentations from panel members prior to questions posed by a moderator. A panel should include between two and four speakers in addition to the moderator.

Group Discussion
Large group discussions are a viable meeting option too. Provide a clear discussion topic and prepare lots of questions to foster conversation.

Resource Review
Meet about an article or book of shared interest. Preparing questions for discussion in advance of a meeting is quite helpful as well.

If your group is working on building a resource or tool or a document of some kind, meet here at SENYLRC and make progress as a group. 

Get together and co-edit a valuable, open resource - like your LibGuide, or a few Wikipedia pages! 

SENYLRC Calendar

Check here to see what dates are available for meeting @SENYLRC!

Southeastern NY Library Resources Council
21 South Elting Corners Road | Highland, NY 12528
Phone: (845) 883-9065