By Raymond Pun
This year I was able to attend the SLA conference held in Boston, Massachusetts. It was an exciting opportunity because it was also my first time attending an SLA conference. In my library career, I’ve only attended ALA conferences and they were often overwhelming. In this reflection piece, I’ll share my thoughts about SLA and ALA and some of the highlights of SLA conference for me.
I was definitely looking forward to attending the SLA conference for a few reasons: Continue reading
By Madalyn Baron
In my short time as an information professional, conferences and other professional development events have played a major role in the evolution of my career. As a recent MLS graduate, SLA Annual 2013 in San Diego truly welcomed me to the profession. The experience gave me confidence and convinced me to remain active in SLA and become more involved in professional groups such as METRO and my college alumni association. SLA 2014 in Vancouver enhanced my earlier experiences by allowing me to integrate what I learned directly into my specific job responsibilities. SLA NY’s conference in 2014 and METRO’s this past January facilitated improvements in my social media efforts on the job and improved the visuals in my deliverables. I was introduced to people with similar niche interests, who I would later collaborate with for brainstorming, problem solving, and presentations.
This year I was unable to attend SLA in Boston, yet I was pleasantly surprised at the number of valuable takeaways that I benefitted from at a distance. Continue reading
By Emily Drew
I looked into the original Mentorship Program through the SLA NY Chapter because I was looking at my career critically. I had always felt behind compared to others and often tried to stop myself from looking back and thinking I should have done things differently. I thought that using the program would allow me to speak freely about these things with a colleague and also help to form a connection with someone in the chapter. I was lucky enough to be paired up with Stephanie Gross, a caring individual who takes a lot of time out of her schedule to mentor people and help in other ways within our library and information professional communities.
I have to admit that I did feel awkward applying to a Mentorship Program after graduating from library school several years ago. But once we met I had to let those insecurities go or I wasn’t going to get the most out of our relationship. This relationship evolved into what I believe The Colleague Connection is going for – two people in the information industry who are curious about what is going on in other sectors, looking for sounding boards, advice, and a way to learn about new things. I am excited to see The Colleague Connection take shape so others may benefit from this unique program.
By Stephanie L. Gross, MATESOL, MSLIS (Pratt Institute)
When I met Emily in the fall of 2013, I was struck by her youth as well as her maturity. Having mentored a number of library students, recent grads and librarians in transition, I knew that working with Emily would be a gratifying experience. What I didn’t know at the time was that the short-term mentorship would indeed morph into that of a long-term collegial relationship. Was it that Emily graduated from my alma mater Pratt Institute that facilitated the transition from guide to peer? Perhaps. Emily has told me that just having someone to talk to as she pursued her quest for promotion at NYPL helped her stay the course. I discovered that by asking her questions and listening to her answers I gained an insight into the mind of one who is experiencing the 21st century employment “revolution”. My/our decision to extend the 3-month commitment has been based on the acknowledgement that there is much value to be had in maintaining a collegial dialog between professionals from different fields and generations. I should mention that Emily is a public librarian while I am an academic one. Although neither of us is currently involved in special libraries, we have found that SLA meets the highest standard of both professionalism and collegiality. I am proud to have been a part of what is to become The Colleague Connection and urge all who are able to consider donating a few hours of their time to this worthy endeavor. It is one that will continue to enhance and strengthen not only librarians and their institutions but our stakeholders as well. I congratulate Emily and SLA-NY on their steadfast loyalty to the principles of professional development and continuing education. Much success in future!!