SLA and professional growth
How has your work with SLA over the years helped you grow in the profession?
Professional development for me means exploring and adopting new skills and taking on leadership roles. SLA provides me with the opportunities to do both at many different levels.
New skills: I have acquired new skills and learned innovative ways to accomplish projects from SLA conference presentations, chapter programs, division webinars, and conferring with fellow association colleagues. From an introduction to XML, to seeing how to use competitive intelligence methods in my work, to becoming more aware about copyright issues, SLA has been my resource. In recent years, a colleague with whom I served on an SLA committee presented about the inventive ways in which her institution’s library was transforming its space and practices to better engage students and become more vital in their education. I am bringing these same concepts to a graduate studies lab at UCLA that needs to move in the same direction.
Leadership: From committee work, to overseeing a local chapter, to running for President-Elect of the association, SLA has provided me with more opportunities to lead than any of the jobs I have held professionally. And these leadership opportunities have helped develop my confidence and level of self-assurance so that I have taken on more challenges in the workplace, such as overseeing a continuing education program. And besides presenting members with the chance to lead on many levels, SLA also opens up places for newer information professionals to contribute to the association and their fellow members, while not taking on responsibilities that might be overly taxing for an individual without much experience.
Without the skills and new ways of looking at our professional world provided by SLA, I am certain that I would not be in my current position.
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