Question #4. How has your work with SLA over the years helped you grow professionally and personally?
Joy M. Banks, Candidate for Chapter Cabinet Chair-Elect
I think the greatest value I have received from my participation with SLA is the international network of professionals. As a solo, I have found this network to be invaluable to my everyday tasks. My SLA colleagues are always willing to lend a useful tip, a helping hand, and sometimes a valuable document to help me better serve my own position. Since my library is so unique, having the international scope of SLA members at my finger tips is an amazing asset as a professional. On the same note, I have found the leadership network to be equally as valuable. My involvement with the Loyalty Pilot Project for the last year has truly opened my eyes to just how involved many SLA members are and the passion and concern they have for this organization and its future.
And personally? Some of my closest friends were made while a part of my SLA Student Chapter at Clarion University, and I have continued to make wonderful personal contacts in the organization. There’s nothing quite like seeing someone on a train into an unknown city, guessing that it’s a librarian heading to the same SLA conference, and striking up a great conversation that turns into a friendship. Outside of the various international meetings, I think that the Chapter structure of SLA is one of the greatest assets for making these personal connections with one another, and I hope to see the strength of that structure grow.