When I was a new librarian I was a bit overwhelmed with MLA. It seemed everybody knew everybody and they were all doing very interesting things. I wasn’t sure how to get involved or how to get my toe in the door. Believe it or not I am an introvert (though my husband says I am extrovert librarian). So seeing everybody knowing everybody made me feel nervous and worried about trying to join the group.
If I knew then what I know now, I would have saved myself some introvert angst. The key to MLA is serving in MLA. Volunteering for committees, groups, projects, etc. allows you to work with and know a lot of people. So by the time the next Annual Meeting roles around you will at least know a few people via email through your committee work. (I would LOVE it if we could add our pictures to the membership directory so that we can begin to put a face with a name and email.)
I have to say that my participation within MLA has been one of the single most important career development opportunies ever! MLA is what you make of it. If you sit around wondering what has MLA done for you, yet do nothing in return, you will get little out of it. But if you participate, engage in the association then your returns will be rewarding. Life is not a spectator sport, neither is MLA. So get out there and volunteer on a committee!
(Below is from the MLA Focus)
MLA Committee Applications Due October 31
Apply today for a committee and play an active part in MLA.
Committees make decisions on awards and scholarships; help plan membership recruitment strategies, continuing education courses, and the annual meeting; participate in the publishing process for the Journal of the Medical Library Association and MLA books; make recommendations on new technology; and more. Apply using the online application form for the 2013/14 association year. You will need your MLANET username/ID and password. Applications are due October 31.
Never served on an MLA committee before? See the August MLA News for tips from President-Elect Dixie Jones, AHIP, on how to increase your chances of being appointed.