James A. Michener Library
Assistant Dean (University of Northern Colorado)
Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL)
CLS Communication and Membership Committee Chair
Describe how long you have been on the committee and what initially interested you in joining.
I have been on the committee for a little over a year. I was interested in CLS because although I work at a doctoral granting university, we have a strong commitment to undergraduate success, which corresponds well to CLS. I also believe it is important to participate in committee work at the national level to develop a more complete understanding of the profession and the work being done by ALA. Chairing a subcommittee also seemed like work that I could do after having served on a state ACRL board.
What is the most engaging part of the work you do as part of your committee?
I enjoy the communication between committee members. Most members are assigned some sort of task (maintaining the blog, updating social media, etc.), so we all work independently. However, there are often times where someone will need assistance with something, so we’ll have an interesting email exchange or phone call. It’s a been a great way to get to know folks from a variety of institutions in diverse fields of librarianship.
What recommendations would you have for a new ALA member who is unsure about how to get involved?
One of the best pieces of advice I was given as a new librarian was to “just say yes,” so in this case, I think the best way to get involved is to volunteer to serve on a committee that interests you. In my experience there is always work to be done!
How do you balance committee work with your current library position?
Luckily for me, the other members of the committee are really dedicated and have taken on much of the day-to-day work like posting to social media, so my work load hasn’t been affected too much. There are certain times, like when the newsletter is due, that are busier than other times, but overall, I find it relatively easy to balance the workload.