I'm so pleased that the official announcement of the new Academic Division of SLA went out this week. What better time to launch a new division of an association than in the first week of its centennial year. I'm excited about leading this new division and will be working with a great team to get us off the ground. We still need more volunteers, so contact me if you are interested.
You might wonder why a "special" association needs an "academic" division. There are many reasons; one is that this will give all academic librarian members, regardless of subject discipline or specialty, an opportunity for networking and programming that is of a broader nature. We'll provide a forum for discussing topics such as building faculty relationships, supporting student retention goals, developing information literacy programs, re-evaluating the reference desk model, navigating the promotion/tenure path, and more.
While I belong to ALA and have attended a number of those conferences, I see my professional home as SLA. I started out in a non-traditional IT role and found SLA to be a good fit. In SLA, I continue find the very subject-specific programming valuable and the incredible networking and leadership opportunities essential. From my chapter to my primary division to the entire association, I find being involved in SLA rewarding and feel it has greatly benefitted my career. Academic librarians out there, I encourage you to take a second look at SLA. Even though you may not consider yourself or your environment to be "special," I bet SLA still has something to offer you.