Question #4. How has your work with SLA over the years helped you grow professionally and personally?
David Stern – candidate for Treasurer
Professionally, SLA has been my main channel for learning new tools, discovering best practices, and maintaining a network of friendly experts for assistance with challenges. SLA is where I developed skills such as budgeting, program planning, management, and leadership; and all this was learned in a risk-free environment. I have been exposed to alternative perspectives from other segments of the library community; chief among them are the very different solo librarian conditions and concerns, and the vendor relationships I have developed through serving on advisory councils.
Personally, SLA activities have expanded my vision and my horizons. As a result of the many people, places, and things I have seen, I am far more aware and empathetic than I would have been if cloisterd in my American academic environment. I am more comfortable speaking and schmoozing in groups, more willing to engage with novel ideas and people in previously unfamilar scenarios, and always excited about visiting new places. In addition, I have made many great friends over the years. I remain in contact with my mentors and now serve as a mentor to others. SLA has been rewarding as well as invigorating.
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