Question #4: How has your work with SLA over the years helped you grow professionally and personally?
Stacey Greenwell, Candidate for Division Cabinet Chair-Elect
Over the past ten years, I have stated many times how SLA has helped me both professionally and personally. I usually give examples ranging from the leadership opportunities, programming, and networking, pointing out that a professional organization is a great training ground for developing a wide variety of skills. Earlier in my career, I did not have many opportunities at work to run meetings, organize programs, manage budgets, and so forth, and SLA has been a great place for me to develop those skills. I often give the same answer to this question, so I thought it might be fun to list a few very specific moments that SLA has helped me grow:
- In 2004, I co-planned the first IT Dance Party (it wasn’t exactly a dance party—we’d hired a line dance instructor and realized that everyone just wanted to dance, so we ran with it!) and learned more than you’d ever want to know about the details of planning conference events later on through roles in IT, Academic, and two times on the Annual Conference Advisory Council
- I got into social media, creating the first Facebook presence for SLA in 2006 (it was called “SLA Members on Facebook,” back when Facebook was an academic-only network, and it was a novelty to find other professionals on the site)
- I launched my personal blog after attending a Blogger’s Social at SLA and blogged for IT for several years
- As IT Chair, I learned how to stay organized and get things done remotely with the support of volunteers around the world
- I learned how to build things in Second Life as well as run meetings in a virtual world
- At the 2008 conference, I spoke in front of my largest audience at that point and loved it
- I learned how to use a teleprompter for my first run for Board in 2009 (tip: if you don’t wear makeup like me, I highly recommend it for HD cameras)
- When I led the petition drive to start the Academic Division, I learned how to stick with a good idea, even if it doesn’t win you many friends. That was a tough process, but nearly four years later, the Academic Division continues to grow and prosper.
- In addition to professional contacts, I have developed a large network of friends from around the world—being a Kentucky Chapter member has possibly contributed to that
- And yes, back to my usual “run meetings, organize programs, manage budgets, and so forth” response, I learned so much about budgeting and understanding financial documents through my valuable time on the Finance Committee
For these reasons and many others, I am glad to call SLA my professional home, and I look forward to continuing to grow professionally and personally through my SLA involvement in the years to come.