When did you first join SLA? What made you decide to join then, and why do you still belong today?
Kate Arnold ~ Candidate for President-Elect
I joined SLA, and specifically the News division, in 1999 based on recommendations from two trusted colleagues: Annabel Colley, a fellow member of the AUKML (Association of UK Media Librarians), who waxed lyrical about the networking and learning gained from attending 1998 annual conference; and Nora Paul who taught an inspirational course on the changing face of news libraries. I knew I wanted to be part of a group that these two were associated with. So personal recommendation is an important recruitment tool.
Having joined SLA for the networking and learning opportunities I soon realised that there was also the option of volunteering at unit (SLA Europe) and board level. By volunteering I was given an opportunity to gain new skills and experience, which have been helpful for work and my career. In the last 13 years I’ve gained valuable experience in chairing meetings, delivering presentations, public speaking, leading teams and collaborating on major projects.
Networking and learning, the original reasons I joined SLA, remain important as factors for why I remain a member. My experience as a volunteer, at unit and board level, has given me plentiful opportunities to contribute to my development and that of the profession, both powerful reasons to remain a member.