Why SLA?

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

Debbie Schachter – Chapter Cabinet Chair-Elect

I first joined SLA when I was a student, as I had already gained some experience working in special libraries, and I felt that the association had a vibrant local presence. This led to wonderful opportunities to learn about the wide range of special libraries, networking opportunities and job opportunities. SLA also provided me with my first opportunities to work as an association volunteer, providing leadership development for which I credit a lot of my career success to date. There have been few years since then that I have not been involved in different types of roles in SLA and other associations.

I still feel that we have vibrant and ever changing local SLA chapters, and in particular today I value the supportive network, socializing and continuing education opportunities. Now that I am 20 years into my career, I also appreciate the opportunity to have an ongoing venue for meeting the new special librarians and information professionals in my community. Learning about their experiences, their technical skills and vision for how they want to deliver services to their clientele is invaluable to me.

Over the years, SLA continues to provide strategic and targeted continuing education and training, which I have taken advantage of. I also feel that SLA has provided me with my most effective conference experiences. The breadth of offerings, the range of experts and the broad vision experiences that are provided with the keynote speakers has been unparalleled for me in other conference experiences. I may not be able to attend every year, but it is a conference that I tend to come back to over and over.

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