SLA and professional growth

Question #4: How has your work with SLA over the years helped you grow in the profession?

Marilyn Bromley, candidate for SLA Director, 2012

Years ago I took the Myers-Briggs test, and was not surprised to learn that I was the classic librarian type (at least it was then) of ISTJ.  At the same time, following my mother’s example, I have always been a joiner and a volunteer, someone who enjoys being a part of a larger group but likes to have a job to do. 

My first major SLA responsibility was as treasurer of the DC Chapter.  I liked it so much I did a second three-year term 9 years later.  In between that time I served as president of the Chapter.  Being the “top dog” in a large chapter helped me develop some new skills: leading meetings, learning how to be a coach, persuading others to volunteer, being a good listener, practicing conflict resolution, speaking in public, working on that “vision thing.”   

Being involved in SLA also benefited me in my job here at BNA.  After 11 years as a reference librarian, I was asked to become Library director.  Without the skills I had developed in the DC Chapter and later with the Social Science and Legal divisions, I wouldn’t have been qualified to lead a busy library and staff of 15 with multiple responsibilities and services.

The Myers-Brigg test told me what I needed to work on, but SLA, more than another organization in my life, made that possible.

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