My name is Molly Caple and I am a Simmons GSLIS student. I started the program in September 2007, and will be graduating in May 2009. Through my time at Simmons I have learned that participation in SLA is a vital component to the education and professional development of library school students. While the education that I have received at Simmons has been important and certainly has prepared me for my future career, it is the interactions with other professional librarians through SLA that provides me the motivation and inspiration to be a law librarian. Talking to the members of the Boston SLA chapter has provided me with concrete tips and tricks that are useful in my job hunt, and make me feel like a vital component of the profession even though I am just starting out.
Attending the SLA conference in Washington DC this June will offer me a chance to strengthen this feeling, and learn from the collective knowledge and experience of the SLA members. SLA members are a welcoming group of people who are more than willing to share what they know, and it would be most beneficial to my brand new librarian career to spend several days in the company of these librarians, learning from them and sharing what I have to offer as well. In my everyday life as a student and a part time librarian assistant it can be easy to become isolated and allow the every day pressures to get to you, especially in today's economic climate. It is more important than ever for SLA members to come together and revitalize each other and remind each other why we love what we do, and to simply remind each other that what we do is important.
My career goal is to be a law librarian, which is an area of librarianship that requires collaboration with colleagues on a daily basis. Legal materials are complicated and it is impossible for one librarian to know everything, so reaching out to colleagues that have knowledge in areas that you don't is an important part of the profession. Having a network of librarians to turn to from an organization like SLA makes this collaboration much easier.
Through my time at Simmons I have learned that networking and simply talking to other librarians can be an inspiration, and if I get that feeling from a lunch meeting with a colleague, than I can only imagine how much inspiration is to be found at the SLA conference.