Wednesday, January 07, 2009

SLA Academic Division is Official

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.

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