SLA and Professional Growth

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

Debbie Schachter – Candidate, Chapter Cabinet Chair-Elect

This is a timely question given the much heated discussions recently about the value of association membership and how to communicate or develop that perceived value for attracting and retaining members.

On a personal level, I feel a strong connection to SLA as it is the only association that I joined as a student, and of which I have had almost continuous membership over the years (I've been in the field for more than 20 years now). During that period of time, my career has taken many twists and turns and my development has been due to many factors including: self-directed personal development; work-related development; association-related development.

Over the years, I have had the opportunity to attend continuing education, social and networking events locally, as a member. I have benefitted from hearing from panels of local special librarians on how their work has changed over time, and to learn lessons from people in the field. I became a familiar face to many special librarians which I believe also helped with my career path. I have also valued the conference and have attended many years, for professional education, contact and networking with my division contacts, and simply through re-energizing me for another year.

Through the years, I have taken an active role in the Western Canada Chapter through many different board positions. These leadership roles have had a positive impact on my professional growth, I believe, through indicating a willingness to take responsiblility, step up, and provide vision and direction – all things that employers are looking for when hiring.

I continue to enjoy the stimulation and challenges that come from leadership in associations, and I am looking forward to seeing how we can leverage these types of personal experiences to improve communication on the value of membership for a strong future.

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One response to “SLA and Professional Growth”

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