For the second year in a row, the student chapter of the Special Libraries Association (SLA) at the San José State University School of Information (iSchool) has received the SLA’s Student Group Certificate of Merit for Innovative Programming. The iSchool's SLA student chapter (SLASC) was the only U.S. student group to be recognized for the 2014/2015 academic year.
According to the SLA’s press release, student groups chosen for awards by the Student Affairs Advisory Council “are great examples of the important role that SLA student groups are taking on in the association—not just contributing innovative ideas, but also putting them into action.”
In particular, the awards recognize SLA student chapters whose efforts in programming, leadership, and the creative use of electronic resources increase membership, provide opportunities for professional development, make connections between educators and practicing librarians, and enhance the profile of special librarianship in the community.
Basia Delawska-Elliott, president of the SLASC, said the group was honored to have been given back-to-back awards for the work it has done promoting the field of special librarianship, all of which benefits both students and the professional community. “Last year we collaborated with the Medical Library Association, the international Special Libraries Association headquarters, and San Francisco Bay Area librarians to organize Twitter chats,” elaborated Delawska-Elliot.
In addition, the SLASC helped students prepare for professional careers through its training and networking opportunities. “We conducted webinars featuring non-traditional LIS careers and professional development, and we worked with SLA chapters and other SLA student groups to cross-promote programming,” said Delawska-Elliot. “We also actively collaborated with other iSchool student groups to organize seminars, fireside chats, and online social events.”
Dr. Cheryl Dee, faculty advisor to the SLASC, stated that she was very proud of the group’s leadership and success. “The SLASC leadership team worked hard and effectively to obtain excellent guest speakers and programming,” she explained. “We have a great group and the award for innovative programming is an exciting achievement.”
The SLASC is off to a great start for a possible third award win with a number of exciting events lined up for the fall semester. The group kicked off its fall webinar series on September 10, 2015, with law librarian Tracy Z. Maleeff, who presented a talk on how to network effectively. On October 19, 2015, the group is hosting a webinar with Dee Magnoni, research library director at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, on how to leverage professional relationships. Capping off the series will be a webinar by iSchool assistant professor Dr. Michelle Chen on the challenges and opportunities of information visualization. Recordings of all SLASC webinars are available on the group’s website.
The SLASC’s president is excited about what the group’s award for innovative programming might mean for membership going forward. “The award is certainly an inspiration for the future,” said Delawska-Elliot. “We hope it will raise awareness of our group on campus. We are always looking for people who want to get involved and want to share their talents with us.”
Membership is SLASC is free, and all iSchool students are eligible to join whether or not they are members in SLA. Interested students can join by submitting a form on the student chapter’s website.