My ALCTS Experience
Many long-time and newer ALCTS members have taken a moment to reflect on their tenure with ALCTS, explain how they became involved in the organization, and impart a sense of what their experience has meant to them.
Library work has always been part of who I am. I began working in libraries as a volunteer when I was in elementary school in the third grade. I continued to spend my free periods working in the school library until I graduated from high school, so it was natural for me to get part-time work.
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 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!
I first got involved at Midwinter 2012 in Dallas. I attend an ALCTS New Member Interest Group (ANMIG) meeting. During the session, the group mentioned they were looking for someone to take over as web/social media coordinator. I volunteered. Now, a year and a half later, I am the co-chair elect and will take over leadership with my co-chair after Annual 2013. One of my favorite things about being involved with this group is that we help to plan ALCTS 101 with the ALCTS membership committee. Being able to help new members learn about ALCTS/ALA and get involved is rewarding.
Iin my short time as a member, ALCTS has proven to be a rewarding introduction into the wider world of library professional organizations.
I volunteered for and served as Vice Chair, then Chair of an ALCTS discussion group from 1999–2001. I happily accepted the opportunity to represent my state technical services interest group at meetings of the ALCTS Council of Regional Groups beginning in 2001.
There are many opportunities to be involved and make meaningful connections that personalize an individual’s membership while contributing to our professional community. A little bit of gumption (read: volunteer) will bring significant reward.
It will be hard to decide what to choose next year to further my ALCTS experience, and I suspect I’ll have a long list of potential committees and interest groups in which to participate in coming years. It seems I am in a reversed situation in comparison to my beginnings in ALCTS: instead of being lost in all of the not-for-me opportunities ALA has to offer, I’m happily overwhelmed by those offered within ALCTS.
Erin E. Boyd
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.
Amy S. Jackson
The ALCTS New Members Interest Group (ANMIG), was looking for a co-chair. Deciding that participation in this group would probably be the best way to learn about ALCTS, I raised my hand to volunteer. No one else volunteered, and suddenly I was co-chair of the group!
I originally joined ALCTS to get a discount for a workshop, but the benefits I have received as a member have gone far beyond that first class.
My first step was to submit the volunteer form and tell ALCTS my interests, while also letting them know I was not able to attend all the conferences. For me, ironically, this not only led to my first participation in ALCTS, but also a trip to the Annual Conference.
I have worked to increase the visibility of public librarians in ALCTS and to provide a method for public librarians in ALCTS to have their own voice as a group within ALCTS. As a result of one of the ideas from the LCWG discussions, Cynthia Whitacre and I co-founded an ALCTS Public Librarians in Technical Services Interest Group.
I've become more active at the ALCTS level, with a term on the ALCTS Program Committee and on Dina Giambi's President's Program Committee. At each step, I have met amazing people, made great friends, and learned a tremendous amount.
Don't be afraid to volunteer, don't hesitate to say yes. We are ALCTS and together we create the future of our profession, building valuable professional networks and rewarding personal friendships along the way.
ALCTS colleagues are eager mentors whose love of the profession and deep knowledge of the intricacies of the organization are unparalleled.
As chair when the change occurred, I will never forget the help I got from ALCTS leaders
I attended my first ALA conference completely bewildered and lost. Then I joined ALCTS/PARS and the padg discussion list and, suddenly, I was a part of a community.
I served as a member of the Continuing Education Task Force for LC Action Item 5.3, which afforded an opportunity to work with and learn from some of the best in our field. To this day I remain grateful to Karen Calhoun for appointing me to this group.
It has been like one door after another opening on to new experiences and adventures: many pleasurable, some difficult, all rewarding, and mostly still more or less unexpected.
M. Dina Giambi
ALCTS also offers the opportunity to develop and plan programs, discussion and interest group meetings, forums, etc. It is very satisfying to be involved in a process that presents worthwhile information that conference attendees can put to use in their home institutions and organizations.
Everyone needs a passion, and that passion will be rewarded with responsibility. Another is that relationships are the glue that hold the Association together.
I especially value the leadership lessons I have received just by observing the many fine members of our ALCTS Board of Directors over the years. I am honored and delighted to consider several of those individuals my mentors and friends.
Diane Dates Casey
During the conference I learned about volunteering as an intern on CCS committees and filled out the form.
My participation has resulted not only in opportunities to make a positive difference in the field but also to become part of a professional network.
My network of colleagues is broad and deep, and we exchange ideas, innovations, and disappointments. We counsel and advise one another and there is no price you can put on that!
Most of my professional activities were centered in RTSD's Serials Section with a secondary focus in the Library and Information Technology Association.
I tell my students at Wayne State University that they will never forget their first publication and their first ALA committee appointment.
Janet Swan Hill
ALCTS provides opportunities to bring technical services viewpoints and knowledge to bear on the work of the Association, and to help those engaged in other specialties realize that technical services librarians are an integral, concerned, and essential part of the entire profession.
Carol Pitts Diedrichs
Each level of involvement in ALCTS has enriched my work life as well as my personal life. I always return to the office after an ALCTS event, re-energized, full of new ideas, and reminded of why I chose this profession in the first place.
My ALCTS experience has been a whirlwind, providing me with unforgettable adventures; close, lasting friendships; opportunities to explore and build upon my own leadership skills and scholarship; and opportunities to give back to my profession.
ALCTS has given me something more important than opportunities for professional development, service, publishing, and presenting.