When Did You First Join SLA and Why?

Chris Zammarelli, Candidate for the SLA Board of Directors

Question: When did you first join SLA? What made you decide to join then, and why do you still belong today?

I first joined SLA in November 2005. I had decided to pursue a career in federal libraries, and I thought that SLA would be the best professional association for my interests. But I put off joining and put off joining until serendipity struck. My boss at the time was co-chair of the Government Information Division’s Communications Committee, and she was looking for a webmaster for DGI’s new website. She asked I would do it. I rushed over to the SLA website, joined, and then told her yes.

Since then, SLA and the chapter and divisions I am a member of have stayed consistently relevant to my career. Initiatives such as Future Ready and the Alignment Project are informing the conversations about the future of our profession. DC/SLA is fostering a strong sense of community with its events and dine arounds. And DGI's blog has done a fantastic job of keeping members updated on the issues and trends affecting government Information.

Moreover, I remain loyal to SLA because I can honestly say that without it, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I was lucky enough to be awarded a scholarship from DC/SLA when I was attending the University of Maryland’s iSchool. I had the opportunity to tour Germany’s state and government libraries after I was recommended to the tour director by SLA peers. And the connections I made through DGI and the Germany tour helped me get the job I have today.

I have gotten so much out of SLA and continue to do so. I would like to give back as much as I can.

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