Happy 2013, San Francisco Bay Region Chapter of SLA!
Last week, the chapter’s Executive Board and Advisory Council had our 2013 turnover meeting; this is the time that outgoing Chairs officially hand their duties over to the new incoming Chairs. This also marks the start of my term as chapter President and I am both thrilled and humbled by this opportunity.
Once again, I would like to thank the many chapter members who have volunteered their time to serve as Board and Council members. None of the many fantastic chapter events and resources available to you would exist without their efforts. I would like to ask all of our members to think about some of the chapter benefits that have been made possible by their efforts. Maybe you love to attend the informative speaker programs, tours, and professional development events organized throughout the year. Perhaps you are drawn more to the social nature of the neighborhood dinners and holiday party. Or maybe you look forward to reading Bayline articles posted on the chapter website, or are kept informed of government activities that impact our access to information by the Intersect Alert. When you see a chapter Council member, take a moment to thank them for their efforts.
Now think about how lucky we are to be members of a chapter that has all of this to offer in a relatively compact geographic area. It is true that many of our programs are held in San Francisco, although there are events annually in the East Bay, and neighborhood dinners several times a year in Marin. But consider the SLA chapters which encompass entire states; for example, the Nebraska chapter with its 21 members. Or entire regions, like our neighbors to the north in the Pacific Northwest chapter, which covers members in Idaho, Montana, Washington, and Alaska. Or entire continents, like the Europe chapter, home to SLA’s current President-Elect. It may seem difficult to make it to a chapter function 20 or 30 miles from home, but consider how much easier that is relative to negotiating state and country borders?
Like so many of the San Francisco Bay Region chapter presidents before me, I’ve selected a theme for my term; that theme is Investment. Whether you are brand new to the chapter or a long-time member, this is the year I want to challenge you to get invested. If you’ve never been to a chapter event, come out to a program, and introduce yourself to me. Is there a topic about which you are knowledgeable, perhaps digitization technologies, social networking strategies, or business research resources and techniques? Share it in an article for Bayline. Is there a skill set that you would like to develop? Look at the various Advisory Council committees and select the one that you think would have a volunteer opportunity that would facilitate that growth. Throughout the year, I will be sending notices to the discussion list asking for volunteers to help with discrete, focused projects. Take me up on it.
Maybe you’re hesitant to come to events because you don’t know anyone there, or you just haven’t seen how SLA can impact your career. Well, here’s the thing about volunteering: you get to know people. Last year, an SLA task force surveyed 527 association members about volunteering with SLA. When asked how their volunteer experience paid off:
- 35% said they got new job because of the volunteer experience
- 30% said they built professional connections
- 30% said the volunteer experience helped with their career development and professional growth
Think about all that your San Francisco Bay Region chapter can offer you, and then think about how you can maximize those benefits. During my years volunteering with the chapter, I have known several people on the chapter’s Executive Board and Advisory Council to get both internships and full-time jobs as a direct result of their networking with others in the chapter. However, it’s difficult for chapter members to be of assistance if we don’t know you, that you’re looking for a job, or what you’re interested in. The best way for SLA to benefit you is by giving you the networking opportunities and professional development tools you can use to broaden your prospects.
Your SLA leaders work throughout the year to provide our members with programming and information to help you grow as a professional. We are invested in you. This is the time for you to invest in your career and your profession. It’s time for you to invest in SLA. Just ask me how.
By Anne N. Barker