Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Why you should elect me to the SLA Board of Directors

I am delighted to be running for the SLA Board of Directors position of Division Cabinet Chair-Elect. While I am also an ALA member like most of my commons colleagues, I have considered SLA my professional home since getting involved in 2001. Getting involved is one way of putting it; when I attended my very first Kentucky Chapter event (I will never forget it as they served mimosas--what a classy organization, I thought) I was immediately tasked with editing the chapter Bulletin. At my first Information Technology Division meeting, I took on the responsibility of Membership and Awards Chair for one of SLA's largest divisions.

From there, I have served in numerous leadership roles, mostly division or Annual Conference-focused:
2009, Candidate for Board of Directors, Division Cabinet Chair-Elect
2009, Inducted into the Fellows of SLA
2009-10, Member, 2010 Annual Conference Advisory Council
2009, Chair, Academic Division
2009, Co-Chair, Centennial Commission Website Subcommittee
2007-09, Member, Centennial Commission and Annual Conference Advisory Council
2008, Member, Second Life Task Force
2008, Past Chair, Information Technology Division
2008, Award Recpient, Outstanding Chapter Member Award, Kentucky Chapter
2007, Chair, Information Technology Division
2007-08, Chair, Virtual Presence, Kentucky Chapter
2006, Chair-Elect, Information Technology Division
2006, Award Recipient, Professional Award, Kentucky Chapter
2005-06, Member, Technology Review Advisory Group
2004-05, Secretary, Kentucky Chapter
2004-05, Program Planner, Information Technology Division
2002-04, Chair, Membership Services and Awards, Information Technology Division
2002-04, Editor, Chapter Bulletin, Kentucky Chapter
So why should you vote for me for SLA Division Cabinet Chair-Elect?

I have participated in annual conference planning on some level since 2004. For those of you who are familiar with the legendary IT Division Dance Party, I helped IT program planner Heather Kotula with the division's first dance party back at the Nashville conference. Truly I learned from the master of conference planning as we had an excellent conference in Toronto in 2005 when I took the lead. As Chair of the IT Division, I had the opportunity to mentor several program planners over the next few years. From there I became involved in annual conference planning at the association level, serving on two conference committees back-to-back. Some of the SLA staff have joked that I could probably recite what is said at the planners meetings as I've attended them for the last five years.

I took on the task of launching a new division focused on those who work in academic libraries. For many of us, it is impossible to attend multiple conferences to get all of the information we need. SLA excels in subject-specific programming and is an outstanding organization for networking and building leadership skills. Several of us realized that we could create a division of SLA which would welcome academics from all subject specialties and focus on issues that affect us all: information literacy, working with faculty, promotion/tenure, and so forth. The process of launching this division was not without controversy and became downright unpleasant at times. Despite that, we succeeded and this year I am serving as SLA Academic's first Chair.

I am your go-to technology person. Whether I am pulled from a conference session to fix someone's malfunctioning laptop or I get a phone call to advise on a blog-or-wiki dilemma, I am frequently asked to advise on technology issues. I launched SLA's original Facebook presence back in summer 2006. At that time, it was a novelty to find a colleague on Facebook; there certainly weren't many of us there, and there certainly weren't many (any?) library organizations using Facebook. For any group I work with, I am often the blog/wiki/web/Google Docs/IM/Facebook/Second Life/you-get-the-idea expert tasked with developing and maintating a presence for the group. For those of you who have met me in person, you know that what comes with that is great enthusiasm and encouragement and a desire to help you learn how to use that particular technology tool. In fact, helping people learn how to use technology has been my job for many years.

I continue learning and building my leadership skills. In 2005 I was chosen to participate in Circles of Power, a year-long leadership program for women faculty at the University of Kentucky. This was a somewhat intimidating experience for me as I was an untenured librarian working with a bunch of tentured teaching faculty and researchers. I learned a great deal about myself that year and have moved on to take a number of leadership roles on campus. This year I was awarded the Lorie Edwards Scholarship to participate in the Frye Leadership Institute, an intensive leadership program for aspiring library and technology leaders in higher education. I will literally be returning from my two week residency experience before heading out to the SLA Annual Conference. These leadership training opportunities must be worthwhile, as just yesterday I learned that I am the recipient of the NextGen Librarian Award for Leadership.

I want to give back to this association which has given me so much. I have learned so much from my time in SLA. I have developed new skills and gained life-long friendships. I have access to an incredibly talented network of experts who are just a phone call away. From the Centennial Celebration to the alignment project, this is such an exciting time to be involved in SLA. With the alignment, SLA has the opportunity to develop our vision for the future, and I want to be a part of that. Let me work for you as we create the future of SLA.

UPDATE: Read Q&A with the candidates on SLA's Candidates Corner.

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