When did you first join SLA? What made you decide to join then, and why do you still belong today?
Stacey Greenwell, Candidate for Division Cabinet Chair-Elect
As a new academic librarian in a non-traditional IT role looking for a professional home, I joined SLA in 2001 after attending my first SLA event, an excellent Kentucky Chapter program on virtual reference services. I will never forget that event, partly because they served mimosas at the program (what a fun organization, I thought), but mostly because of the friendliness of the chapter. I was immediately tasked with editing the chapter bulletin, and while attending the Leadership Summit in 2002, the Information Technology Division put me to work as Membership and Awards Chair. I greatly appreciated how easy it was to get involved in volunteer leadership in SLA.
I joined SLA because of the leadership opportunities, networking, and programming, and that is why I still belong today. I have long said that a professional organization is a great way to develop skills such as running meetings, planning programs, managing budgets, etc., as those opportunities are not always there at work, particularly early in one's career. Volunteering is an excellent test ground for developing leadership skills and can provide a wealth of experience. I value the network I have built in SLA, as I have friends around the world I can call on when I have a specific information need. I continue find the subject-specific programming valuable and the leadership and networking opportunities essential. I appreciate that SLA is such a nimble organization and changes to meet member needs; the formation and continued success of the Academic Division is a good example of that. My involvement in SLA continues to be so rewarding to me personally and professionally.