Posted on April 11, 2013.
In February of this year, I was honored and delighted to be invited to be a keynote speaker for the ALIA Sixth New Librarians’ Symposium, in Brisbane Australia. I’ve written a longer post over at my blog, but wanted to share a bit here as well!
Sunday, February 10th, was a really big day for me, as I was presenting the closing keynote session that day. To say I was nervous might be a small understatement. Watching Ingrid Parent (IFLA President) give the opening keynote, and Marcus Foth give the afternoon one (informatics r fun!), didn’t lessen my jitters any – they’re impressive speakers who shared some impressive ideas. [...] In the afternoon, I missed out on what sounded like some great sessions on the twitterstreams, due to last-minute tweaking and pecking and fiddling with my presentation. I’m very pleased to say it went well – the room was packed, the energy was great, and the twitterstream was full of wonderful things. My goal was to tell the group something they didn’t already know, and I’m pretty sure I nailed it! I’m delighted that I also got one of the symposium sketchnotes, by the amazing Kim Williams!
The closing keynote for the symposium was by the always-amazing Jenica Rogers, who I finally got to meet face-to-face. (Squee!) She talked about the need for more wild thinking – not self-defeating ideas, but big audacious grand ones. We need heroes in libraryland – she’s one of them, given the ACS thing (which she did talk about). We need change. We need more activism! She had a rousing call to action to all the new librarians in attendance; time will tell how that plays out. (I have high hopes!)
Overall, I was very impressed with the symposium – especially considering it was put together by an all-volunteer group spread out over the entirety of the (truly gigantic) country. No tech snafus, no scheduling hiccups, food and drink appeared when it was supposed to, and every person wearing a Staff t-shirt was welcoming, open and helpful. It really was a model to me of what a small conference can be like. Congratulations again to Kate and Vanessa and their team for a great experience, and thanks to the State Library of Queensland and the Queensland Government for their support in bringing me to NLS6.
If you’d like to read about my whole experience, please head on over to “A Look Back at NLS6.”
Posted in Featured, Professional Development
Posted on December 13, 2012.
10. You’re thankful for what SLA has given to you and you want to give back.
9. You want to add another feather to your cap before your year-end review.
8. Volunteers, like the brilliantly colored leaves now falling from trees (in the northern part of the state at least), need to be replaced with fresh green ones each year.
7. It’s chilly outside, but many roles can be done in sweat pants from home.
6. No tricks, only treats (including underwriting for conferences, meetings).
5. Volunteering is a great way to try out politics, without all the politics.
4. You’ll find out how the SLAusage is really made.
3. Volunteering now would still make you eligible for Santa’s “Good” list this year.
2. Mad Men doesn’t start up for another couple of months.
And the Number One Seasonal Reason to step forward in your chapter: You’ll always be in season with colleagues when you volunteer!
Now’s your chance to step up for any of these reasons and help the Arizona Chapter out. Please consider volunteering for a position!
With a hat-tip to Anne Hengehold of the Illinois Chapter
Posted in Announcements, Featured, Professional Development
Posted on October 30, 2012.
There are a ton of fascinating and interesting topics available for continuing education opportunities in November! Here are a few highlights; grab the full file for details and registration information!
November 1 (12-1 pm) Introduction to Fundraising Planning (Grantspace)
November 5 (6-7 pm) Gamification for the EPIC WIN! (Teacher-Librarian Virtual Cafe)
November 6 (12-1 pm) Playing by the Rules: Creating an Effective Volunteer Handbook (VolunteerMatch)
November 6 (12-1 pm) The Power of Image: presenting with the brain in mind (WebJunction)
November 7 (9-10 am) Nancy Drew & Friends; Or, the Case of the Neglected Books: The History (& Importance) of Youth Series Books (Nebraska Library Commission)
November 7 (12-1 pm) What is the Job of the Library Board? (Montana State Library)
Posted in Announcements, Events, Professional Development, Uncategorized
Posted on October 10, 2012.
This post was written by Brianna Marshall, a Master of Library Science and Master of Information Science candidate at Indiana University’s School of Library and Information Science. She is Managing Editor for the blog Hack Library School and soon-to-be Social Science Division Archivist. This post first appeared on the Social Science Division web site, and is reposted with permission.
Why would a grad student join SLA? To answer this question I could quote the membership page of the SLA website, listing off the benefits given there, but that seems too much like a stock answer. And truthfully, I haven’t been an SLA member long enough to gauge its impact on my professional life. However, I think I can give one clue to the key to grad students’ loyalties: being welcomed. I certainly think this matters much more than the membership benefits touted by SLA, since we have similar resources being dangled in front of us by a variety of other professional organizations. When SLA is just another acronym in the sea of associations, it’s easy to put off joining for later in our careers, if at all. A commitment to inclusiveness and an attitude that graduate student contributions are valued makes all the difference.
When I joined SLA this past spring, my reason was purely pragmatic: my poster proposal had been accepted for the 2012 Annual Conference, which was taking place in nearby Chicago. I didn’t know if I would get anything out of my membership after that; paying up was a means to build my CV and I was satisfied with leaving it at that. But at the Joint Poster Session, I met Brandy King, Chair of the Social Science Division. We kept in touch after the conference, and because of her openness to my involvement I will be taking over as Division Archivist in November. All in all, I’ve had a great experience that makes me feel connected to SLA in a way I had not anticipated.
Feeling welcomed matters—to anyone, but especially to nervous grad students new to librarianship and new to professional associations. The question then becomes, how can SLA show this welcoming attitude to the graduate students who aren’t meeting them face-to-face at conferences or other events? A few ways come to mind:
- Bolstering support given to student chapters. This is the primary way to increase grad student exposure to SLA. If student chapters are active and innovative, that naturally reflects well on the organization. At the School of Library and Information Science at Indiana University, SLA has not had a noticeably active student chapter since I began my program. How can SLA inspire student members and provide incentives to boost student chapter activity?
- Creating a space focused on grad student resources, issues, and voices on the SLA website. There is a lot going on on the SLA website—I find it intimidating to sort through and I would guess my peers feel similarly. Carving out a space specifically meant for graduate students that breaks down what SLA is, does, and offers in the context of what graduate students care about would be a great next step.
- Offering additional grants and scholarships for students. Grad students are an enthusiastic yet broke group. Trust me, we want to write essays and work for it, so give us more chances to earn travel grants, scholarships, and fellowships and advertise them broadly.
- Reducing (or even eliminating!) the cost of Click University resources. The Click U resources are posited as a major selling point of an SLA membership but the average grad student probably will not find them to be useful at their current pricing. Students do not have the need for continuing education resources in the way that professionals do and the $49 webinar pricetag is prohibitive when many of us are sinking into debt to pay for our educations. Reducing significantly or eliminating the cost of these resources for full-time student SLA members would be an act of goodwill that could act as a major draw to students.
Again, this isn’t to say that there aren’t grad students who will find their way to SLA on their own—SLA provides resources and networking opportunities that are truly valuable—but these students will likely be the future business librarians and law librarians. The rest of us, who aren’t quite sure where we’ll end up, could be served by ALA, SAA, or SLA. To make SLA stand out from the crowd, being welcoming is key, whether it’s an in-person interaction or the impression made by SLA’s virtual presence, resources, and opportunities.
Posted in Featured, Professional Development