Interested in being an officer with SCALA?
My advice to those considering an officer position in SCALA is fairly straight-forward and simple, but I wish I would have taken it back then:
- Take a deep breath. Now take another. And another.
- Don’t be afraid to voice your ideas and brainstorm with others – with anyone – you’d be surprised who will inspire you.
- If your idea or event planning somehow “fails,” it is not the end of the world. You still learned from it. After you mourn (not pout, mourn; I know how disappointing it can be to have an idea not form into the vision you had in your mind), start brainstorming your next idea or work on how you can improve the last one that “failed.”
- If people don’t respond to your emails, it’s not because they’re not reading them.
- On a side note, if you really need responses to emails, don’t feel bad about resending them. People forget. People are busy. People are human. Worst case scenario, pick up the phone and call.
- Don’t talk behind others’ backs, especially if you are in a leadership position. (Side note: venting to your spouse or best friend about something or someone is different from gossiping, but you might still need to address a problem.) In these situations, you are expected to act like a manager and talk to whoever is “causing problems.” Be mature and respectful, even if you don’t get along with someone.
- Don’t be afraid to share your workload of a project with others. SCALA is supposed to be about collaboration. Alternatively, ask for a task if you don’t feel you are doing enough.
- Ask clarifying questions, whether you are in a leadership role or not. Clarification on projects, event planning, outreach, and coordination is everyone’s job.
- Have fun with it! I think I often got caught up in all the coordination and “work” of it all, and I often forgot to relax and experience the group. The events, the library tours, and the relationships you develop will be valuable to you, but you may not realize it in the moment.
That’s all the advice I am going to offer for now. If you have questions about anything – my experiences in the SLIM program, my leadership roles in SCALA, or about academic libraries (or specifically about my field of digital scholarship and scholarly communications), feel free to reach out to me. I love talking to students! Also, know that it is all worth it, even if it doesn’t feel like it now.