Why SLA?

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

David Cappoli
Candidate, SLA President-Elect

In the mid-1980s, while working in the Los Angeles Herald Examiner Editorial Library and considering the prospects for a career on the research side of journalism, I learned about SLA from the Library Director, Ann Sausedo. Hearing that it was a group for “people like us,” Ann sold me on an SLA that enabled her to reach out to other, accessible news librarians so that she could learn about a variety of topics such as full-text archiving systems and news story indexes.

I attended the 1988 SLA conference in Denver and presented as part of a panel on the practice of receiving published credit for news research. Ann moderated the panel and I simply filled-in for a panel member unable to travel to conference at the last minute. But as a conference first-timer I was greeted with enthusiasm by long-established members. Here were others with similar challenges, concerns, and successes, and I was one of them. There were many news librarians certainly, but there were others coming from business, science, the arts, etc., and so much knowledge could be gained from all of them. They were members openly inviting me into their network, and whom I could instantly call on for advice. Here was an organization that educates; provides support; and, draws together and encourages candor among its members in the interest of personal and organizational success.

I continue to rejoin SLA each year because of the people and the diversity of their experiences.  From the openness of their support, to their encouragement to take on leadership roles, SLA members make me feel right at home and continue to share their expertise and knowledge.

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