By Susan Powell
A very happy November to you all. As I have been pondering what to say in this presidential message, another fire season has descended in full force across California. The sense of surrealness that permeates life right now makes me somehow appreciate the dispersed WAML community all the more.
It has been just over a month since I saw many of you in Reno, Nevada for the 2019 WAML annual meeting. And what a meeting! Our hosts at the University of Nevada, Reno secured a beautiful conference space and attended to numerous logistics, both large and small. My sincerest thanks go to Chrissy Klenke, UNR’s Earth Sciences, GIS, & Maps Librarian, as well as Heather Demonte for her planning expertise and the UNR Library leadership for supporting our conference. I would also like to extend my thanks to the workshop organizers (Kim Durante, Janet Reyes, and Phil White), presenters, lightning talk speakers, and Birds of a Feather session conveners for providing rich and topically diverse content. Last but not least I am grateful to everyone who attended for giving life to the conference. Your active participation both with the professional material and as a community is what makes me love WAML. I left Reno re-invigorated and re-inspired for my work, with new ideas to ponder and resources to investigate. I hope that you did, as well. I am already looking forward to next year’s meeting in Moscow, Idaho.
For those of you who may have missed the Business Meeting on Friday afternoon at the conference, I want to take a moment to highlight the Distinguished Service Award that the WAML Executive Board presented to Ken Rockwell for his sincere dedication to the organization and meaningful improvements to our profession. Ken’s contributions to WAML include over 25 years as the compiler of the New Mapping in Western North America column and leading the effort to have the Information Bulletin indexed. Congratulations, Ken!
Looking forward, the Executive Board’s focus this year is on the perennial refining of our organization’s identity. To that end, three current sub-groups comprised of many individuals from the WAML membership are working on different angles: the Mission Statement Task Force led by Phil White, the Website Review Ad-Hoc committee led by Julie Sweetkind-Singer, and the Membership Task Force led by Greg Armento. Together their work will help make WAML a welcoming organization that remains relevant to people involved with map and spatial libraries.
Wishing you all a restful and satisfyingly productive few months!
GIS and Map Librarian
Earth Sciences & Map Library
University of California, Berkeley