Professional Organizations are a vital part of my career. I’m officially a member of the following organizations:
Minnesota Library Association – I joined this after staring my career as the Library Director of Muir Library in Winnebago, Minnesota. I find value in receiving the information that is available for members and I also appreciate the networking opportunities at specific meetings and the annual conference. Because I’m working in a one-librarian-library, it is nice to know I have a state full of librarians to connect with.
Association for Rural and Small Libraries – I joined ARSL when I realized (had that silly epiphany-type-moment) I wanted to work in a small or rural library! I thought it would be helpful for me to not only see the conversations exchanged on the listserv but also see the potential job postings listed there as well. I hope to be able to apply for one of the scholarships to the annual conference in the next couple of years (when I’m not starting my career and getting married).
Hack Library School – I’m one of the ‘original’ editors for Hack Library School – thanks to Micah noticing me on Twitter and my blog. I’ve written posts about a little bit of everything involved in LibrarySchool. I am still writing there although I’m finished with school, but I will soon be taking over a more editorial role than a writing role. And although this is not a face-to-face organization, I have met one of the editors face-to-face and I also chat regularly with other members of the team.
One thing I’ve noticed as I’ve been a solo-librarian for the past couple of months is how important conversation with other librarians and IS-related-career-people is. Maybe online conversation is easier and more effective for me because I’m used to communicating that way, but I honestly don’t feel librarian-lonely when I’m not meeting with people face-to-face. Even if I’m just watching listserv conversations or a specific convo on Twitter, I am learning and connecting in ways I wouldn’t if I didn’t have that technology.
At this point in my career, I would like to become more involved at the local, regional and state level of these organizations in order to work directly with the patrons in Minnesota and Rural Libraries and library school students in general. All three of these populations are near and dear to my heart and I hope to be able to devote more time to their advancement.