The student chapter of the American Library Association (ALA) at the San José State University (SJSU) School of Library and Information Science (SLIS) has been awarded the prestigious 2014 Student Chapter of the Year Award by the ALA Awards Committee and New Members Round Table.
This award marks the fourth time the SJSU American Library Association Student Chapter (ALASC) has won the Student Chapter of the Year Award, an accomplishment no other student chapter of ALA has achieved. The student chapter at the SJSU information school was chosen as the recipient of the award “in recognition of [the] chapter's outstanding contributions to ALA, its school, and the profession,” according to the ALA press release.
The ALA Awards Committee and New Members Round Table made special mention of the SJSU student chapter’s “commitment to member engagement, retention, and outreach, including utilizing a range of social media and other virtual communication channels.”
Elaine Hall, chair of ALASC, explained the group’s notable success this year: “As a result of efforts in updating our mission, vision, and value statements, we have stepped up the frequency of our visibility via all of our social media channels with more updates, cross-promoting SLIS news, collaborating with other SLIS organizations on promoting events, student news, and more.” Hall added that the chapter “also engages in collaborative programming with other student groups, increasing our visibility among the students and offering the opportunity for us to introduce ALASC and discuss our programming.”
Members of the student chapter spent considerable time over the past year re-envisioning the chapter’s mission, vision, and value statement. The mission of the ALASC is to foster “community and connection among all students and across all career pathways within the School of Library and Information Science,” something Hall noted is particularly vital in a program that is entirely online. Hall also stated that community service and library advocacy are important elements of ALASC’s work, explaining that the chapter took part in several library and literacy-related activities this year, including Banned Books Night Read Out, World Book Night 2014, an online book club, and work for the California Coalition for Women Prisoners.
When asked to comment on the fact that the SJSU has won the Student Chapter of the Year Award four times, Hall stated, “I think it’s quite reflective of SLIS's overall environment and commitment to innovation, professional development, lifelong learning, and community engagement. We are blessed to be part of a school that fosters an environment for students to not only learn from industry leaders, but to contribute to their own learning opportunities through collaboration and the encouragement for innovative and creative ideas.”
The Student Chapter of the Year Award was announced in May. The winning chapter receives a $1,000 travel grant to help pay for ALA conference attendance. Congratulations, students, on your achievement!