Student Chapter of the Year Award Report

by Abby Dansiger

The officers of San Jose State University’s American Library Association Student Chapter (SJSU ALASC) were honored to have received the 2010 NMRT Student Chapter of the Year Award. The award funds were used to cover transportation and housing expenses, which along with ALA’s Student-to-Staff program enabled five ALASC officers to attend this year’s Annual Conference in Washington, DC. In attendance were 2009-2010 officers Abby Dansiger (Chair), Gayle Pellizzer (Programs Coordinator), Susie Quinn (Co-Chair and Web Coordinator), Jamie Renton (Secretary/Archivist) and Rowena Weger (Treasurer). Our chapter was also very thankful to have received a matching grant from SJSU’s School of Library and Information Science in recognition of our programming and outreach efforts throughout the year.

While at the conference, each ALASC officer had the opportunity to explore programs, sessions, and events that suited their individual career interests. Abby Dansiger, outgoing ALASC Chair, attended sessions related to managing various types of metadata, how to successfully organize and promote special collections, and how to enhance the user experience in a digital environment. As the 2010 recipient of a NewsBank sponsored SLIS scholarship, it was also very exciting for Abby to meet the president of the company and speak with him about the future of digital resources. Gayle Pellizzer, ALASC’s Programs Coordinator for the past two years, attended a wide variety of sessions related to programming, technical services, and outreach. Gayle was especially intrigued by the session on Japanese paper storytelling, which she discovered accidentally after encountering numerous sessions that were already full. Abby and Gayle also attended the ALCTS 101 New Members Orientation, which was a great event for meeting other LIS professionals who are interested in technical services. It provided them with an opportunity to learn how "seasoned" ALCTS members originally received their initial committee appointments. Susie Quinn, our past Co-Chair and Web Coordinator, attended several sessions related to emerging technologies and job hunting. She also had an opportunity to participate in the SAIC Reynard Second Life Research Study, which took place in Arlington, Virginia. Jamie Renton, last year’s Secretary/Archivist and incoming ALASC Chair, volunteered her time at our school’s exhibit hall booth and attended sessions related to children’s librarianship, young adult programming, and Web-based instruction. Jamie also attended several networking events that helped her connect with professionals across the country, many of whom expressed interest in collaborating with ALASC in the future. Rowena Weger, last year’s Treasurer, also attended an interesting array of sessions, including those related to fundraising and international grassroots advocacy. She also had the opportunity to attend the International Librarians Reception that was held at the Library of Congress on Monday evening.

In terms of social and networking activities, all of the ALASC officers thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to meet and greet various SLIS students, faculty, and alumni during our school’s reception, which was held at a local tapas restaurant. Unfortunately, the United States did lose their World Cup soccer match that evening, but the game only added to the vibrant and wonderful atmosphere that was enjoyed by all. In addition to receiving and celebrating our Student Chapter of the Year award, the NMRT Student Reception was also an excellent opportunity for us to connect with student representatives from all over the country, which we hope will lead to longstanding professional contacts.

This year’s ALA conference was a great opportunity for all of the ALASC officers to meet face-to-face and network outside of our normal virtual environments. Above all, we are truly appreciative of NMRT’s recognition of our efforts for a second year in a row, and eagerly look forward to attending next year’s ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana.