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CLA Elections 2014 - Lara McLaughlin
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Lara McLaughlin, San Jose State University

Statement of Concerns

As a new student in the field of library and information science, I seek out every opportunity to learn from others in the field. CLA is an important avenue for students, those already graduated, to make available professional development and networking opportunities. CLA is also an important avenue for those in the field to advocate for libraries and libraries within California and beyond. I would like to serve as Student Representative in order to continue strengthening the bridge between students and other members of CLA. As Student Representative, I feel it is important to not only lend a voice to students, but to continue to forge, and strengthen, relationships that will foment change and advancement of the field. One of my particular interests lies in the bridging the gap between “traditional” librarianship and “non-traditional” librarianship and creating a voice for those students, myself included, who are interested in following a path that is seen as different. I think it is important to understand the strengths and weaknesses of both “traditional” and “non-traditional” trajectories and utilize elements from both in order to strengthen the field as a whole.


I have always been interested in serving my community: for example, I have been in AmeriCorps and PeaceCorps and I have worked with refugee youth in the Bay Area. While not looking to pursue a young adult librarianship directly, I also have a wealth of experiences working with youth as an art teacher and as an English as a Foreign Language teacher. These experiences will allow me to understand and connect with young adult librarians. My interest in technology and continued interest in art creates an opportunity to meld these two interests together and apply them to librarianship. I am newly, but deeply, interested in the Maker movement and bringing it to libraries and making the opportunity available to all communities with accessible options for all. I am currently thinking about a project connecting ESL learners and Makerspaces as a way to build skills and confidence in their English language studies. Other projects are also under development, but have not yet come to fruition…yet.

Though new to the field, I have already begun to make headway into the community. I am on the boards of several organization chapters, such as: SJSU’s ALA Student Chapter (Regional Events Coordinator); SJSU’S ASIS&T Student Chapter (Webmaster); and SJSU’s SLA Student Chapter (Web Coordinator). I will also be working with ALA’s NMRT to collaborate for the ALA annual conference in San Francisco. Through these activities, I hope to gain a deeper understanding of the library and information science community, my fellow students, and leaders in the field.

As a full-time student, a part-time worker, and an avid volunteer, I have proven that I am able to commit to this position because my ability to multi-task and manage my time is evident in the number of opportunities of which I take advantage, and of the effort and outcomes of my participation. I am excited for the possibility of serving as Student Representative and would be honored for the opportunity to grow as a student (and person) and to advocate for students and the field.

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