The New Members Round Table (NMRT) and the American Library Association (ALA) Membership Committee wish to congratulate the American Library Association Student Chapter at San Jose State University as the winner of the 2010 ALA Student Chapter of the Year Award. This is the second year in a row San Jose Stateâ€™s student chapter has won this award. The runner-up of this yearâ€™s award is the ALA Student Chapter at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.
The Student Chapter of the Year Award is presented in recognition of a chapterâ€™s outstanding contributions to ALA, its school and the profession. The purpose of the award is to increase student involvement in ALA through student chapters and to recognize its leaders. Official ALA Student Chapters are organizations formed by students at schools offering accredited programs of library and information studies. The winning student chapter receives a $1,000 travel grant to help with the cost of ALA conference attendance.
This yearâ€™s Student Chapter of the Year Award Committee praises ALASCâ€™s accomplishments in each of the seven categories related to the Student Chapter of the Year Award. In light of SJSUâ€™s School of Library and Information Science transitioning to an entirely online degree program, ALASC has not only adjusted and adapted but flourished in the move. The committee was impressed with ALASCâ€™s excellent use of social networks including Elluminate and Second Life to inform and involve members, and the variety of both in-person and â€œvirtualâ€ social, professional and service programs. Chapter leadership demonstrated strong continuing involvement with state and national organizations. As one committee member commented, â€œThis chapter exemplifies what an outstanding student chapter should be doing.â€
Debbie Faires, assistant director for distance learning and advisor to the San Jose State University ALA student chapter, stated: â€œOur chapter has expanded the number of sponsored events and has drawn a higher number of participants than in the previous (very successful) year. Even our officer group has grown as positions were restructured and filled via a mid-year electionâ€¦One of the new programs was an innovative pre-ALA Conference event to help students learn how to navigate conferences and network effectively. This was held via Web conference so that students could participate regardless of geographic locationâ€¦The chapter has been flexible in its attention to programming this year in response to the Schoolâ€™s move to a completely online format for coursework. The officers have added local events in a variety of locations to provide opportunities for personal networkingâ€¦The Banned Books Week events were a particularly well organized outreach effort that included multiple location-based events as well as online venues via web conference and Second Life.â€
The runner-up of this yearâ€™s award, the ALA Student Chapter of the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, is recognized for its use of social networks, programming including professional lectures, technical workshops and community volunteer opportunities, as well as the peer mentoring program. We also applaud the numerous awards received by chapter members and the chapter overall.
The members of the SCOTYA Committee, NMRT and the ALA Membership Committee appreciate all the time and effort put in by all of the nominated ALA student chapters this year, and encourage all to keep up the great work!