How has involvement with SLA over the years helped you grow professionally and personally? Tony Landolt, Candidate for Director.

Groucho Marx once said, “I don’t want to belong to any club that will accept me as a member.”
When I joined SLA over 20 years ago, this was the question I asked myself. I came to SLA  as a vendor, not an information professional. I was not sure where I belonged in the association or if I would be accepted because of my vendor affiliation. I jumped in with both feet and I can honestly say that joining SLA has been the most fulfilling experience I have had with any organization.  Professionally, SLA has opened many doors and avenues that I thought impossible or not able to obtain. Members of this association have inspired me to put together a few webinars, such as ” The Pregame Show” bf.sla.org/2013/sla-2013/recap-hit-one-out-of-the-park-in-san-diego/ and the “Postgame Recap” bf.sla.org/category/sla-2013 These events have become an annual staple for our members.  And because of their success, for the first time this year, I  organized the “Face to Face with Vendors” (http://illinois.sla.org/?p=3214#sthash.BzEu2VJa.dpuf )    This webinar also exceeded my expectations and was a huge hit! Two other library associations contacted me for permission to share the webinar with their organizations. To me, this is what involvement is all about…sharing and networking.

Besides the webinars, what I’ve enjoyed the most, has been the opportunity to be the convener of the Baseball Caucus  baseball.sla.org
For the last several years this caucus has taken a life of its own. The Baseball Caucus was one of the early adapters of WordPress and the new website launched on March  31st, 2011. I have been told that some of our divisions and chapters have used some of our applications and incorporated them on their websites. The caucus has members from different divisions, chapters and geographical locations (including international!) who share stories, not only for the love of baseball but their professions and topics of the day. I believe our discussion list is one of the most active in SLA.  I am both impressed and humbled by receiving emails and phone calls, and chatting with members at the annual conference as they express the pleasure of belonging to an engaging group that makes them feel welcome, and proud to be in our profession.

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