School of Information Alumna Shines Brightly as SLA Rising Star


The Special Libraries Association (SLA) helped San José State University School of Information alumna Sarah Cook (MLIS 2013) find her career direction in the information profession and now she is a 2016 SLA Rising Star.

Even before graduating from the Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) degree program at the San José State University (SJSU) School of Information (iSchool), Sarah Cook (MLIS 2013) was active in the Special Libraries Association (SLA). Her contributions to the information profession haven’t gone unnoticed.  

Along with SLA colleagues Raymond Pun, Katherine Cuyler, and Kathryn Callon, Cook was recently honored as one of the 2016 SLA Rising Stars. The award, according to the SLA, is “presented annually to individuals with 1 – 5 years of experience in the information profession who have exhibited leadership and innovation in SLA and the information management industry.”

SLA President Tom Rink noted, “The 2016 Rising Stars are shining examples of members making the most of SLA’s unparalleled opportunities for professional development and networking for information professionals in all stages of their careers.”

Cook herself is grateful for what she has learned by being a member of professional association. “Before SLA, I worked in public libraries. SLA showed me that there were so many more options,” she stated. “I have benefited immensely as a member of SLA. I’ve made so many like-minded friends, learned a lot about myself, and developed professional skills, like leadership.”

Joining SLA just before beginning her MLIS studies at the SJSU iSchool, Cook has since served as hospitality chair, assistant director of programs, and director of programs for the San Francisco Bay Region Chapter. She attended last year’s SLA Annual Conference in Boston as a voting representative of her local chapter.

Another SJSU iSchool alumna, Alys Tryon, suggested that Cook join SLA “to network and find my place in the world of libraries.” Cook works now as a research paralegal at Levin Simes LLP in San Francisco, where she is able to put into practice the skills she acquired at the SJSU iSchool. “I don’t have the traditional librarian title,” she commented, “but I utilize what I learned at SJSU every day whether it be in regards to search strings, project management, or anticipating the needs of the user/attorneys.”

All four of the 2016 SLA Rising Stars will be honored at the association’s 2016 Annual Conference in Philadelphia in June. “We commend these Rising Stars for their dedication to and passion for the information profession,” stated Rink.

For Cook, being chosen as a Rising Star is very gratifying. “I am very honored to receive this award,” she said, “and it feels incredible to be noticed and appreciated for my commitment to the association.”

More information about the 2016 SLA Rising Stars and other SLA awards and programs is available on the SLA website.