Volunteering with SLA Benefits You as Well

Give back. Help others. Make a difference. Influence change. Strengthen your community. These are all wonderful reasons to respond to SLA President-elect Dee Magnoni’s recent call for volunteers, but they aren’t the only ones. Donating your time and talents to SLA can also directly benefit you, the volunteer.

hands-in-volunteering-with-logoTake the work out of “networking.” The mere mention of networking can evoke self-serving schmoozing, superficial banter, and/or social discomfort. Thankfully, meeting and learning from industry colleagues doesn’t have to be unpleasant or difficult. Volunteering provides meaningful opportunities to connect with others in your professional network. Serving on a committee or advisory board is a great chance to get to know other information professionals through a common project or goal, and to exchange insights and experiences with each other in the process.

Learn new skills. Volunteering nearly always helps you cultivate your leadership, communication, and project management skills. It may also help you develop marketable, highly desired professional skills that fall outside of your regular job description or day-to-day workflow—budgeting, financial reporting, and event planning are just a few skills you might master through the course of volunteering.

Put your existing skills and knowledge to good use. Have a way with words? Dying to share your library’s latest findings with other librarians and information professionals? A micro-volunteering opportunity as an article author or interview subject might be the perfect way to utilize talents that might otherwise remain underused or underappreciated.

These are just a few ways volunteering can benefit you and your career. Explore the volunteer opportunities available through SLA and tell us which ones you are most interested in participating in by using SLA’s Call for Volunteers form, which will be available until October 28.

Questions? Contact membership@sla.org.

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