First off, a warm welcome to the new SCALA board, a solid team of OR-11 and 12 students ready to serve the SLIM-OR students. There was an amazing turn out of new faces to the elections, most likely curious to learn the raison d’etre of the organization, but definitely showing an interest in getting involved with the student chapter.
As my time as a SCALA board member comes to a close and my career as an information specialist begins, I cannot help but reflect on the importance of getting involved with professional associations as a graduate student. I was drawn to SCALA as a means to meet other students. I quickly learned that it was much more; an opportunity to network with librarians in the community, to explore the different types of libraries, and to provide learning opportunities for my peers. I enjoyed being part of SCALA, both as the event coordinator and president, as I gained new skills in communication, collaboration and leadership.
As a graduate student, I explored other local organizations. I went to the events hosted by the Portland Area Archivists and the Oregon Chapter of Special Library Association. Because of my involvement in these groups, I was able to make connections with the professionals in the field. Ultimately, I was hired for internships and jobs by the people I meet at these meetings. Getting involved was important for me, as it demonstrated my passion for the profession and allowed me to network with my future colleagues.
SCALA represents just one of many opportunities for SLIM-OR students to get involved. There are a myriad of professional library and archives associations in the Pacific Northwest that welcome student members (often at a discounted rate). In addition, there are conferences and other events that invite student volunteers. I recommend that students take advantage of these opportunities to learn more about the profession, meet people working in their field, and possibly build new skills. Below is a list of some of the organizations and events that are located in the Pacific Northwest.
Oregon Library Association
Oregon Chapter of the Special Library Association
Washington Library Association
Pacific Northwest Chapter of the Special Library Association
Downtown Librarians (a Portland group, emails sent via Libs-OR listserv)
Archives and Records Management Groups
Plus, there are many more local events and national conferences that happen in the Pacific Northwest area. Join listservs and local association chapters like Libs-OR to receive general announcements about these events.
Feel free to contact me with questions about getting involved with local associations: mjkeyser@gmail.
Signing off as SCALA President and wishing an amazing year to the new board!