Question #2: Why SLA?
Catherine Lavallée-Welch- Candidate, Division Cabinet Chair-Elect -
Question #2 When did you first join SLA? What made you decide to join then, and why do you still belong today?
While I held unconventional jobs as an information professional in my native Canada, somewhat bizarrely, I didn’t join SLA until I became an academic librarian in 2000.
I had recently moved to the US and began working in Kentucky. Invited by members of the local Chapter, I attended one of their social events. The enthusiasm and camaraderie shown by the members was contagious; I was hooked. By the end of the evening, I had volunteered to be the chapter’s webmaster. I have not looked back since.
I have worked as a records manager, as well as an info pro, on various online projects for cooperatives and non-profit organizations; I have been a consultant, an entrepreneur and a librarian. SLA being an association for professionals from very varied backgrounds has always made me feel at ease. I think we can always learn from each other, even if our circumstances differ.
The international aspect of SLA is another big attraction for me. I’ve worked in Canada, the US and in French-speaking Europe. I gained a lot from those experiences, both professionally and personally. The potential for growth, both for SLA and me, is so formidable when the world is your territory.
Being involved in SLA definitely helped me get the most out of the association. I’ve networked with people from all backgrounds, developed new skills, discovered novel ideas and learned tremendously. I can only advise that all members get involved somehow.