When did you first join SLA? what made you decide to join them and why do you still belong today? – Question1 for Division Cabinet Chair Candidates – Pam Enrici
I joined SLA over thirty years ago. I was working as a cataloger and decided I wanted to do science/engineering reference. The “old” San Andreas chapter held meeting very close to San Jose, so it was logical for me to join and go to the local meetings. That way, I could meet engineering and science librarians and learn more about becoming one. So for me joining was a very logical thing to do. As the years went on, I moved to places where it was almost impossible to get to the local meetings and began attending the annual meetings. I’ve belonged to various divisions as my job responsibilities changed but I have centered my volunteer activities around science and engineering divisions.
In a disclaimer, there were a few years that I didn’t join because I wasn’t going to be able to attend the annual meeting and at that time, there was very little value if you didn’t live near a local chapter to attend the local meetings. Now that has all changed with the advent of all this lovely technology we use to hold meetings and programs online!
Why did I stick with SLA? It gave me various skills – from learning how to plan meetings to plan division programs at the annual conference to time management. I gained information from various vendors that I could use in my decisions on what databases to have my library have access to (plus how to use them. My colleagues have been incredibly generous in the knowledge they’ve passed on to me – sometimes from various sessions at the annual meeting and sometimes in just talking and networking. Some years, one has been more important than another, but taken in aggregate, what I’ve gotten from SLA has more than made my career. Simply put, I wouldn’t have a decent career or been able to help students, staff and faculty as well as I do without SLA.
Univ. of MN., Duluth (on the shores of Lake Superior)