on committee service …

Many months ago … sometime last year … I saw an announcement (I think it was through ACRL but can’t be sure) calling for volunteers for committee service. I had never served on any ALA committee and am new to librarianship so I figured that, while I’d try, I wouldn’t expect much.

I went to the online form–while I belong to ACRL, NMRT, and GLBTRT only ACRL and the Association itself was looking for volunteers for committees. There were a fair number of questions concerning one’s prior committee experience, etc., and these discouraged me since I didn’t yet have any. I did discuss briefly my professional experience (more than 25 years’ experience in progressively responsible positions in information technology serving both academia and industry), and then I pressed the button and pretty much forgot about it. Some weeks later I had heard that ACRL had something like 9000 volunteers for committee positions and so I assumed I wasn’t a good match and left it at that. I never did hear back from ACRL either way (sounds like applying for a job, right?).

While I had also wanted to be considered for other ALA committee opportunities I hadn’t heard anything and assumed there just wasn’t good match.

So it was a surprise to get an email in March reminding me of an email I had received in February but had overlooked … it was a committee appointment: “I hope you will accept a 2 year appointment as a Intern of the Information Technology Policy Committee.” In fact, I had missed an earlier email asking that I accept this appointment–this was a followup!

The committee to which I was appointed is the Office for Information Technology Advisory Committee … this committee supports the Office for Information Technology Policy at the ALA. I was appointed as an intern, which is something I didn’t realize existed for ALA committees. My term on the committee doesn’t start until after ALA Annual, so I’m looking forward to what this has in store for me.

Combined with my other volunteer effort with the IT division of the SLA, my remaining schoolwork, my internship, oh, and that day job, I think I’m fully subscribed for the moment.

The takeaway from this is “it takes all kinds” and “all you have to do is raise your hand.” Not so bad, is it?

Tell me about your committee work! I’m interested to hear more about what I’ve signed up for …