A passion for helping people understand and enjoy the world around them is a hallmark of every library worker I know, in every type of library (academic, public, school, or special). In my work, I really enjoy the opportunities my library has to support its community by facilitating connections, fostering community, and fermenting creativity. I believe CLA can offer these same kinds of support and benefits to its members in California libraries.
Facilitating Connections. Libraries help people to learn more about every aspect of life, whether discovering new facts, building an education, finding new ways to do things for work, finding new hobbies, or learning about the human condition through literature, music, film, or other media. For those of us in libraries, CLA activities like Spring Fling workshops and the annual conference expand our opportunity to learn about new developments in the profession and new approaches to shared challenges.
Fostering Community. Libraries not only connect people with ideas and information, but they connect people with each other. Through shared spaces for meetings, studying, or collaboration; programs that allow people with common interests to come together; or outreach events in the broader community; libraries serve as a building block for community interaction. The educational activities sponsored by CLA also provide networking opportunities for people to come together, and the annual awards and scholarships allow us to celebrate other inspirational individuals in our library community.
Fermenting Creativity. Ultimately, my favorite part of library work is when our customers are able to synthesize what they learn from the connections they make and the people they meet in order to create something new, whether it’s a children’s craft project, a novel, or a whole new invention. Involvement in CLA provides a great venue for library workers to express their creativity, whether through engagement with Interest Groups and their initiatives, service on committees and the activities they generate, or even participation in the statewide Summer Reading Program CLA provides in partnership with iREAD.
Thanks for all you do to engage with CLA – while your participation is very beneficial to you personally, it makes a difference for all of the membership as well. Cheers to you!