Student Chapters Like the iSchool’s ALASC–A Great Way to Connect

iStudent Blog

Published: September 13, 2016

Being part of a student group expands your horizons and your professional network.

Are you looking for ways to enhance your experience at the iSchool beyond just taking courses? Do you want to meet and socialize with fellow students but it’s just not kosher to talk about the upcoming Star Wars movie or the latest Harry Potter book in the class discussion thread? You are not alone. SJSU School of Information’s dynamic community has a number of student groups that you can join. It’s fun, it’s social and you might even learn something. Not to mention it looks good on your resume.

On Wednesday September 14, 2016 at 7pm PDT the iSchool will host a Student Association Panel Showcase via Blackboard Collaborate when all the student groups have a delegate to tell you about the great reasons why you should join the student chapter of a professional group. Depending on what information field you’re interested in, the iSchool has the right group for you, including student chapters of the American Library Association (ALA), the Association for Information Science and Technology (ASIS&T), Society of American Archivists (SAA), and the Special Libraries Association (SLA). All student groups at the SJSU School of Information put together events featuring presentations from experts in their field and fun games and contests to promote communication and professional development.

Check Out the ALASC!
In this post, I’ll give you the latest about the ALASC—the iSchool’s student chapter of the American Library Association. The student chapter serves as a bridge between students and the professional organization so that budding librarians can keep up-to-date with what’s going on in the world of library and information science and be connected with the ALA publications, scholarships and conferences. You can learn more about the award-winning iSchool ALASC by checking out their video on the website. Be sure to mark your calendar for the ALASC new member meeting on Tuesday, September 20 at 6pm PDT.

Upcoming events with the ALASC include local meet-ups during Banned Books week, September 25- October 1, planned by events coordinator Stephanie Barnaby. The ALASC board and members from all over the US and Canada will be meeting to discuss specific topics related to Banned Books Week. If you’re in the Boston area, Stephanie has put together a meet-up at Fajitas & ‘Ritas at 25 West Street in Boston on Friday September 30, 2016 at 6:30pm to discuss author John Green. On October 15, the ALASC is going to sponsor a library themed cake-decorating contest for National Cake Decorating Day. Whip up your prettiest and tastiest cake design and submit pictures for members to vote on. Too bad we won’t be able to eat those pictures off the ALASC Facebook page while cranking out our term papers. The ALASC is also looking forward to hosting an event with Jody Gray from the ALA’s Office of Diversity, Literacy and Outreach Services in early October 2016. Stay tuned for more events and exact dates by checking the ALASC event calendar.

A great way to keep up with what’s going on in the ALASC as well as with the ALA, is by checking out the Descriptor, the official newsletter of the ALASC. This fall’s issue is all about the experiences of several iSchool students and instructors at the summer’s ALA Conference in Orlando, Florida. Upcoming issues will focus on the library’s impact on communities, libraries and technology, and careers in libraries. If you’ve got something to share, then check out the submission guidelines and send your contribution to As an added bonus, not only do you get to be a published writer working with an editor (that would be me) but contributions to the ALASC Descriptor can also be used as supporting evidence for your ePortfolio.

You read that correctly—I happen to know firsthand how awesome the most recent issue is, because I put it together! Not only do I write this blog, but I am also the editor for the Descriptor. These past few weeks, I put together the Descriptor’s great collection of contributions from iSchool students who won travel scholarships to the ALA Conference as well as the goings-on of an ALA chapter councilor and musings from two of our ALASC board members.

Benefits of Participating in ALASC
As a member of the Board of Directors for the ALASC, I’ll gather experience working with others (beyond those brief group projects I have to do in my coursework) planning and promoting events and connecting with the larger ALA community. There are numerous benefits to being both a member and a board member of a student group. Being part of a student group expands your horizons and connects you to a professional group of people who are working in your chosen information field. Scan the iSchool website for more about student groups and all the great reasons to join and if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact the group. Speaking for all the student chapter groups, we’d love to hear from you!

For more details about iSchool Student Groups, be sure to check out these posts as well as each chapter’s individual web page:
Teamwork and a Passion for Archiving Make the SAASC a Success at the SJSU iSchool

The iSchool’s SLA Student Chapter Offers Innovative Programming and Exciting Leadership Opportunities

A Great Way to Get Further Involved in the iSchool– the ASIS&T Student Chapter

rainbow peeps image courtesy of fotographic1980
ALA logo courtesy of the American Library Association


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