‘I’m Really Grateful to Everyone I Met There’

You can do a lot with 140 characters. Just ask Siobhán McGuinness.

“. . . [I]t was through Twitter that I really found my voice, and I found how comfortable I was with these people that I didn’t know before,” she says of learning to use Twitter while studying for her library degree. “And I found the sheer love and passion for the profession that I knew existed, but not in the capacity that I had ever thought of.”

Through Twitter, Siobhán became acquainted with SLA and with Tracy Maleeff, then chair of SLA’s Online Content Advisory Council. The council was conducting monthly Twitter chats, and Siobhán began participating in them. Tracy paved the way for Siobhán to get involved in SLA’s Leadership & Management Division, then encouraged her to apply for the division’s Career Advancement Award, which she received in 2016.

The award provides complimentary registration to the SLA Annual Conference and $1,500 for travel expenses. Siobhán used the award to attend the SLA 2016 Annual Conference in Philadelphia, which furthered her interest and involvement in the association.

“I’m really grateful to everyone I met there,” she says of SLA 2016. “I’m so thrilled I got the opportunity. It’s a really, really awesome thing to happen for a new information professional.”

Attending the conference and volunteering in SLA have helped Siobhán develop her leadership skills, especially teamwork and communication. They’ve also helped her develop an even greater respect for some of the librarians she follows on Twitter.

“When I see a volume of people on Twitter who work so hard to make librarianship such an important aspect of our lives, I always look to see what they do,” she says. “Some of them don’t even know they’re leaders, but they are to me. So I look to how they lead, and they drive me to be a good leader.”

To learn more about how Siobhán is benefiting from SLA membership and how she’s challenging herself to always have her “top game,” read her interview in the March-April issue of SLA’s online magazine, Information Outlook.

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