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Jul 14 / Roxanne Brazell

ALA@Wayne – Learning and Networking at the 2014 ALA Student-2-Staff Program

I took part in the 2014 Student-to-Staff (S2S) Program at the American Library Association (ALA) Annual Conference in Las Vegas this past week. The experience will be memorable for quite some time. The S2S program was an enlightening and fast-paced learning experience over five days. I was fortunate to work with the ALA’s International Relations Office (IRO), and learn about international librarianship, which is one of my interest areas. I worked at the IRO Registration area with the convention staff and in the Visitor Center distributing resources. I met a variety of international librarians from all over the world. It was exciting to hear about their countries and the library roles they perform. I enjoy helping others; so working at the conference was rewarding.

My IRO Unit supervisor and the S2S Coordinator were a delight to work with and they supported our professional development by making sure we could attend some conference sessions. Of course, the primary goal of participating in the S2S program is to work 16 hours for an ALA unit. In working with the IRO, I gained some perspective on the IRO’s mission and activities.The IRO supports the International Relations Round Table and fosters initiatives, such as the “International Partnership for Advocacy and Libraries Services” that promotes events for the growth and development of international and non-international librarians. Since I am considering international employment in the profession, I attended a session on working outside of the country. It was helpful to hear about the pros and cons of working abroad.

The 2014 S2S program was the best way for me to attend my first ALA conference. It gave me a chance to network with staff, students, and professionals at the conference. Two of my student colleagues (from left to right in the photo), Callie Wiygul from the University of Southern Mississippi, Xochitl Rocha from the University of Washington, and I worked at the International Librarians Reception at the UNLV Barrick Museum on the last day of the conference and had the opportunity to meet the President, Barbara Stripling and chat with her briefly about the S2S program and take a photo.

2014 ALA S2S Program-Roxanne BrazellI had listened to Ms. Stripling speak during a few webinars this year and in the opening session of the conference, but it was great to meet her in person. I would not have met the ALA President, the staff, and my student colleagues, if I had not participated in the 2014 S2S program. I truly appreciate the opportunity I was given to serve my future colleagues.

I had so many amazing experiences that I have shared others on the ALA@Wayne blog.

If helping your future colleagues in a bustling environment is exciting to you, then consider applying for the 2015 ALA S2S Program. Look for the application announcement between mid-October to early November on the WSU SLIS listserv to apply.