Special Libraries Association Student Chapter is Now Operating at SJSU SLIS and Seeking Members


Graduate students at the San José State University (SJSU) School of Library and Information Science now have the option to join the school’s student chapter of the Special Libraries Association (SLA), which was recently reactivated. The SLA Student Chapter at the SJSU information school hopes to create a community for students with similar interests, where they can explore current trends and build a professional network.

The group was built with online students in mind. Meetings and events are conducted virtually, and there are also multiple ways to connect with the group and its members: their website, via Facebook, and via LinkedIn.

Attracting members and establishing chapter leaders is a top priority, shared chapter president Brian Elliott. There is no cost to join, and there are still opportunities for students seeking leadership positions. Most importantly, Elliott stressed, students should feel welcome to join the group simply to be a part of a virtual community of like-minded people who are interested in special librarianship.

Meetings and presentations will be planned specifically for the SLIS virtual community, said Elliott. Chapter leaders understand that it can be difficult to find a community as an online student, and it can be challenging to find a time to gather together. The group hopes to meet midweek, early in the evening, to accommodate those students who may work full-time and live in various regions across the globe.

One of the chapter’s first major events will be on April 2, 2014, at 6:30 pm PST, when special guest Stephen Abram will present via web conferencing. Abram, a member of the SJSU information school’s International Advisory Council and former SLA president, will speak on “Influencing Skills for Special Librarians.”

Elliott hopes that the SLA chapter will enhance a growing community of student groups within the school, which already include student chapters for ASIS&T, ALA, and SAA, as well as SLIS Connect, the combined student and alumni association. Elliott also sees these groups working together in the future to offer more presentations, opportunities for networking and learning, and chances to make lasting connections.

All SJSU SLIS students are welcome to join the newly re-established SLA student chapter. There is no cost to join.

Membership in SLA is not required to join the student chapter, although it is encouraged. Student membership in SLA is $40 per year for up to three years.