On SLA, Both Near and Far

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 haveSLA HQ Happy Hour 2013 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 petSLA HQ Happy Hour with Patrick 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.


Naomi House

Naomi House, MLIS, is the founder and publisher of the popular LIS jobs resource INALJ.com (formerly I Need a Library Job). Founded in October 2010 with the assistance of her fellow Rutgers classmate, Elizabeth Leonard, INALJ’s social media presence has grown to include Facebook (retired in 2016), Twitter and a LinkedIn group, in addition to the interviews, articles and jobs found on INALJ.com. INALJ has had over 20 Million page views and helped thousands of librarians and LIS folk find employment! Through grassroots marketing, word of mouth and a real focus on exploring unconventional resources for job leads, INALJ grew from a subscription base of 20 friends to a website with over 500,000 visits in a month. Naomi believes that well-sourced quantity is quality in this narrow job market and INALJ reflects this many new jobs published daily. She was a 2013 Library Journal Mover & Shaker and has served on the University of Maryland iSchool Board from 2014-2017. Naomi was a Reference, Marketing and Acquisitions Librarian for a contractor at a federal library outside Washington, DC, and now lives part time in Western NY and Budapest, Hungary. She has heard of spare time but hasn’t encountered it lately. She pronounces INALJ as eye-na-elle-jay.