Student Sarah Emmerson Serves National Professional Association and SJSU Student Chapter

Community Profile

Student Sarah Emmerson is expanding her leadership skills by serving as an elected officer in both the national ASIS&T association and in the new SJSU ASIS&T student chapter.

Emmerson, who enrolled at San José State University School of Information in Fall 2008, has been a member and officer in the Association for Information Science and Technology (ASIS&T) since her first semester in our School’s MLIS program.

“Joining ASIS&T provides great professional networking connections,” said Emmerson, who was encouraged to join the organization by a librarian friend and mentor. “I attended my first ASIS&T conference as a brand-new MLIS student, and while there, I had the opportunity to be elected as an officer in the national organization.”

As an officer for the national ASIS&T Special Interest Group on International Information Issues (SIG-III), Emmerson supports the communication of ideas between people of different countries and cultures. She is serving her fourth annual term with SIG-III, currently as mentorship coordinator and as an award-winning newsletter editor (SIG-III’s May 2011 issue recently won the ASIS&T SIG Publication of the Year Award). Emmerson was also selected as SIG-III’s representative to the International Relations Committee at the national ASIS&T conference in October 2011, and she has taken a leadership role with the virtual Special Interest Group on Library Technologies (SIG-LT).

Emmerson’s continuing dedication to ASIS&T National inspired her to seek the reactivation of SJSU’s dormant ASIS&T Student Chapter, which she now chairs.

Working with former faculty advisor Dr. Geoffrey Liu, and with current advisor and School Director Dr. Sandy Hirsh, Emmerson joined a group of fellow students committed to promoting education and networking opportunities in information science and technology. She served as Vice-Chair of the student chapter from February to August 2011 during its reactivation phase, and became Chair of the newly chartered chapter in August 2011.

As Vice-Chair, Emmerson was heavily involved in drafting the bylaws required to re-establish the student chapter, which define its membership requirements, officer responsibilities, and relationship with ASIS&T National. As Chair, she is now focused on growing the chapter’s membership, planning and hosting programs and events, and representing ASIS&T and its mission at SJSU.

“My ultimate goal is to get the chapter started on a firm foundation, so that future boards will inherit a successful, well-run organization,” said Emmerson. “I feel it’s important to have an active ASIS&T chapter at San Jose State University, and I feel a responsibility to lead the chapter in a strong, positive direction, because the first years of an organization are critical for its long-term success and endurance.”

With a keen interest in new technologies, Emmerson is focusing her MLIS studies on using technology tools to support online services and user outreach in libraries and other information organizations. She is following the Special Librarianship and the Digital Services and Emerging Technologies career pathways in the MLIS program, and is applying her coursework to her internship and volunteer sites.

After taking INFO 240: Information Technology Tools and Applications, and the advanced topic course LIBR 246: Web 2.0, Emmerson signed up for a virtual internship at the Yuba College Library. Her responsibilities as a fall 2011 intern include managing the library’s six social media accounts, developing subject guides, and creating an instructional screencast. Emmerson is also using skills from her INFO 247: Vocabulary Design course in her ongoing virtual work as an art database tagging project volunteer with the Hesperian Foundation.

Emmerson plans to graduate from San José State University School of Information in fall 2012.