President Rachel Kolsky of SLA Europe Named 'Information Professional of the Year' at International Information Industry Awards

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Neil Infield, SLA Europe Board Member, also recognized for excellence.

In one swoop, I found I was part of a network of information professionals in Europe and also within the insurance industry, so it was a wonderful networking opportunity.

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The Special Libraries Association (SLA) announces that Rachel Kolsky, president of SLA Europe and manager of information resources with AIG Research and Development in London, has been named Information Professional of the Year at the fourth annual International Information Industry Awards. At the same event, SLA Europe Board Member Neil Infield and his Business and IP Centre team at the British Library took home the award for the Best Team in the Academic and Public Sectors.

"I am incredibly proud and grateful to be associated with such stellar professionals who still find the time and energy to contribute so much to SLA. Rachel and Neil are two of our leaders who are living examples of the power of SLA membership!" said SLA CEO Janice Lachance. "SLA' s Mission is to function as a laboratory for our members. We are a low-risk environment allowing information professionals to gain and expand on the skills that will propel them to be stars in their field. Members like Rachel and Neil who take full advantage of the learning, leadership, and management training they gain through their SLA experience continue to see it pay off, both in the expertise they bring back to the organizations they work for, but also in the eyes of their peers within the information community."

Hosted in London by VNU's Online Information 2006 and Information World Review (IWR), the awards offer the chance for the global industry to recognize the achievements of information teams, information and content management projects, vendors, and individual information professionals. "This is such an honor, and I am so thrilled to be chosen to receive this award. I owe much of my success in this field to my participation in SLA," said Kolsky. The top recruiter in SLA's 2004 membership campaign, in a September interview with IWR, Kolsky, who works for an American-based company in the U.K., spoke of why she joined SLA. "In one swoop, I found I was part of a network of information professionals in Europe and also within the insurance industry, so it was a wonderful networking opportunity."

She has been an SLA member since 1997 but when she discusses what SLA has done for her professional success, Kolsky frequently talks about how, even after a decade of membership in SLA, she is still regularly what she calls "a first timer." Kolsky explains, "Through SLA I have been given my first chance to serve in a leadership role, my first chance to manage a large group of volunteers, and a chance to grow and to learn in a way that I wouldn't get anywhere else. The skills I have acquired and honed through participation in SLA have transferred directly to the workplace, and afforded me the confidence and success that I am experiencing in my career now." Kolsky continued, "I would like to recognize my R&D colleagues at AIG, as I made it here with their help. And I also want to thank the Association as well as all my fellow members and leaders from SLA for their support and encouragement over the years. I share this award with them."

Infield, senior business industry specialist at the British Library, became an SLA Fellow in 2006 and currently serves as SLA Europe's Newsletter Editor. He was president of SLA Europe for 2003-2004 term and he also received the Information Professional of the Year award from VNU and IWR in 2003, the ceremony's first year. He is a member of the Business and Finance Division and the Information Futurists Caucus. An SLA member since 1994, he chairs SLA's Public Policy Advisory Council. One of SLA's long-time active members and leaders, Infield has been featured in SLA recruitment advertising. See

About SLA

The Special Libraries Association (SLA) is a nonprofit global organization for innovative information professionals and their strategic partners. SLA serves more than 11,000 members in 75 countries in the information profession, including corporate, academic, and government information specialists. SLA promotes and strengthens its members through learning, advocacy, and networking initiatives. For more information, visit us on the Web at


Cara Battaglini


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