You know that saying that it takes a village to raise a child? Well the same thing can be said of ALCTS. It takes a village of library students, paraprofessionals, librarians, and staff to make this association as relevant today as it was 60 years ago. For decades ALCTS has continued to stay active as the library landscape morphs in different directions. I’m glad to be a part of ALCTS history by doing my part in helping this organization continue to thrive for years to come.
I heard of ALCTS after getting my first library job as a library assistant in a cataloging department. I was an ALA member at the time, but seeing that cataloging was going to be my niche, I decided to see what ALA had that was in line with my professional interests. I soon came across the ALCTS website and thought this would be a good place to begin getting involved with the profession. That year I joined ALCTS and attended the 2013 ALA Midwinter Meeting in Seattle. During the conference I went to an ALCTS New Members Interest Group (ANMIG) meeting and met my first informal mentor, Debra Ryszka. Debbie was great in teaching me the ins and outs of the organization and recommended that I begin trying to join interest groups. Heeding her advice, I joined ANMIG and became the Member-at-Large officer for the group. I also filled out a volunteer form to serve on an ALCTS committee and got an intern position in the ALCTS Program Committee. It was intimating to be on a committee since there were librarians there who had full-fledged careers, but my intimidation went out the window when I found out how nice people were. As the years passed, I became more acquainted with both groups and joined another, the Technical Services Workflows Efficiency Interest Group, and I ended up being chair for all three (thankfully not at the same time!).
I have been fortunate enough to serve ALCTS in various capacities, and through the work I have done with the organization I feel I have been able to make an impact in ALCTS. For example, while co-chair of ANMIG, we drafted a proposal that helped assess the feasibility and need for an ALCTS mentoring program. Through the work we did in this proposal, a formal mentoring program was created, and I am now enjoying the benefits of this program, as both a mentee and mentor. It’s great to see that the work you do causes a chain reaction and affects the organization. Now in my new role as an intern on the Library Resources and Technical Services (LRTS) Editorial Board, I have enjoyed reading and commenting on articles being proposed by fellow ALCTS members for the journal. Through the committee and interest group work I have done for the association I have learned skills in leadership, project management, and collaboration, all of which have come in handy for my career.
Besides all the service opportunities that are offered in ALCTS, you cannot forget the content it puts out for the profession. As a member of the Program Committee, I know we work hard to find programs that are pertinent and timely. ALCTS offers various ways for members to learn and discuss the latest trends in our field, from webinars to e-forums. That’s why I appreciate ALCTS—besides having plenty of opportunities for members to play a role in the organization, it also works towards helping us gain the skills needed to be the best professionals we can be. If you don’t mind getting to work and want to make an impact on the profession, you have come to the right place. So, what are you waiting for? Roll up those sleeves and join ALCTS!
Hayley Moreno is a Database Specialist for OCLC’s WorldCat Metadata Quality team. When not pondering on cataloging conundrums she enjoys the outdoors and traveling. She tweets @hayleym1218.