Pamela Thomas: My ALCTS Experience
Do I want to be an editor when I grow up? My relationship with ALCTS began last fall, when I replied to an e-mail looking for an editor for z687: Creating the Future of Technical Services. An electronic publication, z687 features an online collection of white papers and think-pieces by library technical services professionals for their peers. My interest was piqued because I had been the editor of a local weekly newspaper in the early 2000s. Thinking about my previous profession invoked nostalgic feelings of interviewing community members, covering city council and school board meetings, finding lifestyles stories to compose, and writing my column. My e-mail to the ALCTS editor asked for more information about the publication, which then led to a phone interview, where I was offered the position!
Although I have worked in technical services in public, special, and academic libraries for more than twenty years, I have not always been an active member in ALA or the national or international library community. As I have matured, I have felt the need to connect and network with my fellow librarians. At the suggestion of my dean and library director, in 2007 I joined the Library Technical Assistant Education (LTA) Committee, which is part of ALA/ACRL/CJCLS. From 2010 to 2012, I served as the LTA Education Committee chair. I still serve on this committee and feel that it is very important; I hope that our committee can continue growing and discussing LTA education and the roles of librarians and library technicians in the workforce.
Being able to share ideas and network is an invaluable experience. So, for those of you who have been hesitant to volunteer and serve on an ALCTS committee, throw your misgivings out the window, and take the time to connect with your colleagues and start discussing current topics, because you never know what might transpire.
At Annual Conference, I will be participating in an ALCTS panel on Saturday afternoon called Publish with ALCTS! If you have time, drop by and find out more about publishing. You might even decide that you would like to publish with ALCTS!