Forum Spotlight from the ILA AlertApril 22, 2021
For library students or those who are new to the profession, networking and getting involved in professional organizations can, at times, be difficult or overwhelming. The Students and New Professionals Forum (SANP) exists to help connect students and new professionals and give them a space to discuss issues relevant to their experiences.
In order to reach this population, SANP has spent a lot of time building its social media presence and reaching out directly to schools with library programs (both MLIS and LTA) and their student groups. By reaching out to these groups, SANP hopes to reach students and assist them in getting involved in professional organizations and activities (conferences, webinars, presentations, etc.) early.
Though SANP has only been in existence for a little over a year, the Forum has already accomplished quite a bit. In November 2020, we debuted our Career Pathway Talk Series, an ILA Noon Network webinar series featuring panelists from different areas of librarianship. Free and open to everyone, including non-ILA members, the webinars gave those just starting out on their library careers a chance to hear from professionals working in public and academic libraries, as well as those working in non-traditional library roles. SANP is currently planning topics for the next round of webinars, based on both feedback from past webinars and other issues discussed during forum meetings.
In the near future, SANP plans to start a hard membership push. Though the details of this push are still being worked out, we are hoping to gain more members that can help give the Forum a wider variety of ideas and perspectives. We are especially interested in reaching out to members of the BIPOC community, who are currently underrepresented in the profession. We hope that SANP can serve as a safe space for those who face difficulty breaking into the library profession to discuss common issues that they face, as well as ways to combat these issues. If you have any questions for SANP or want to get involved, do not hesitate to reach out on Facebook or LinkedIn!
This spotlight was written by Patricia Chavez. Patricia is a Co-manager of the ILA Students and New Professionals Forum and a Library and Research Information Specialist at Rush University Medical Center.