by Naomi House
On SLA, Both Near and Far
I am missing SLA Annual this year in San Diego. I am frankly much the worse for it. I am blessed to have been able to speak and travel so much this year and my time-off requests finally caught up with me. Next year, I promise myself to plan better. This is simply a can’t miss event and the fact that it is being held on the west coast means a large group of librarians I have not met yet will be attending. So I sit in my room and comfort myself by following the #sla2013 Twitter feeds and the SLA Facebook postings and I am grateful to have these glimpses into what appears to be another fab conference! (in the photo at right are Sharon Lenius, Deb Hunt, Linda Broussard, Nevenka Zdravkovska and me, Naomi House)
SLA has been great for me in my career as well. The leadership has encouraged thinking beyond the usual job titles and I have been able to serve at the local level. I am on the strategic plan committee for DC/SLA, my local chapter. Membership for students and the unemployed is very inexpensive as well and I consider it high value and worth the small cost to me in my career. We all spend money on things we don’t need and balk at investing in our networks and careers, which baffles me. It is well worth it.
Recently SLA Virginia President and INALJ VA assistant, Patrick Dougherty invited me to co-host a happy hour with Deb Hunt, President of SLA at SLA Headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia. I was in for a treat. I was able to chat about so much that is going on in our field with SLA leadership and discuss some of my pet projects/concerns, library employment and international librarianship. It was relaxed and yet invigorating and I am still making plans and working off of suggestions I gleaned from my chats. Patrick was pretty phenomenal for having put this all together and for driving all the way there from Charlottesville area! Wow! I thank him as well for helping you guys find jobs in his volunteer work with INALJ VA (and previously he assisted INALJ PA). Thanks Patrick (see us in the photo to the left) :)
The thing about SLA is that events like these, both the local ones and national ones are often free or low cost. I am blown away by what they are doing- truly doing more with less and I encourage anyone to get involved. I am certain that my career is better for it.