‘We Really Are a Community that Helps Each Other’

Stefanie Maclin-Hurd had never set foot in Pittsburgh when she agreed to take a job there after living in Boston for 15 years. But she already had an advance team in place to give her advice about where to live, where to eat, what to visit—the kinds of “inside information” that librarians are accustomed to providing to their clients.

“I had e-mailed one of the officers of the [SLA] Pittsburgh Chapter for advice on where to live and what to look for, and immediately I got answers,” she told Information Outlook. “Coming to a city where I don’t know anyone and had no concept of the city itself, being involved in SLA is very important because everyone is so open and so welcoming. We really are a community that helps each other and supports each other. In a new position and a new city, that’s really very important to me—not to mention being able to move ahead in my career through the support that SLA offers.”

Stefanie had joined SLA while studying for her master’s degree in library and information science at Simmons College in Boston. Her decision to become a librarian had been almost an afterthought—“I went to college and majored in English and creative writing, and I thought I wanted to be a writer”—but once she became an SLA member, her career path became much better defined.

“Before I got involved with SLA, I really didn’t see myself as a leader,” she said. “Getting involved [in SLA] proved to me that I am definitely capable of leading, which is something I will take with me into every future job I will have.”

To learn more about Stefanie’s SLA experiences, the inspiration for her urban fantasy novel, the menu she would plan if she were cooking a meal for librarians, and the next technological advancement she’d like to see in libraries, read the interview in the January-February 2017 issue of Information Outlook.

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