By Erin E. Boyd, Troy University | Montgomery Campus
I joined ALA in 2007 after my first semester of library school. A coworker/classmate and I had heard that Annual would be held in Washington, D.C., so we made arrangements to go. Like most first-time attendees, we were very overwhelmed and unsure where to start. Needless to say, we stuck together, not exploring much of the conference outside of the exhibit hall and a few sessions here and there. After we came back from Annual, I renewed my membership, and decided to include ALCTS. While in library school I also held a technical services staff position, so I wanted to find a place that focused on technical services issues.
It was during Annual 2010, coincidentally again in D.C., that I became an active member of ALCTS. I had recently accepted a cataloging librarian position, and I wanted to continue to learn more about the technical services community. I convinced a coworker of mine to come with me to an ALCTS 101 session held during the conference. After sitting down at one of the tables, I began to chat with a few of the current members. I loved what they said about the division and their involvement. It was at that moment that I began to express my interest in becoming an active member, and fortunately for me, that was all I needed to do.
I took an informal route when I got involved with ALCTS. Instead of filling out the volunteer form online (which I highly encourage anyone to do), my path to involvement began with that short discussion of my desire to become more involved; I was unfamiliar with how committee appointments were made. After returning home from the conference, I received a formal invitation to become a member of Collection Development Section’s Continuing Education committee. Since joining the committee, I have helped to review bibliographies for some of the ALCTS web courses.
I have also become more involved with ALCTS New Members Interest Group (ANMIG), and am currently serving as coweb coordinator. I credit ANMIG with my involvement in ALCTS, and I have really enjoyed my short time working with the group. I was once timid to become involved in the division. Now I have the opportunity to promote and encourage new members to get involved. I am very thankful for the ALCTS 101 sessions, because it gave me the opportunity to become an active member in the division. More information about ANMIG can be found at http://connect.ala.org/node/85257.
Joining ALCTS has been one of the best decisions I’ve made. I have enjoyed my time being involved with the division, and I really enjoy connecting with librarians across the country. All in all, the biggest lesson I’ve learned about becoming involved is just to speak up. If you hear about an opening or are interested in becoming more involved, don’t be afraid to ask questions because you never know where it will lead you.