I am a Candidate for Director for SLA’s Board of Directors

I don’t like talking about myself and I don’t like getting political on the scratchpad, so I’ve been really conflicted about whether I should say anything about my candidacy for Director for the Special Libraries Association Board of Directors. When I started thinking about how some people might look for information about me in this space and perform an Internet search looking for more information, I realized it actually would look kinda silly for me to have absolutely nothing in this space admitting that I am indeed running for the board. Also, many of you might not have yet heard that particularly truthful rumor. The election isn’t for another few months, so why think about it or seek information on the candidates? ;)

Information about all of the candidates and the speeches we gave during the Special Libraries Association Annual Conference are available on SLA’s Web site. The July issue of Information Outlook should also have information about the candidates. Six directors are on the board, each holding a three year term. Two rotate each year, so there are always two directors who know what’s happening, two who think they do, and two who are learning what to do. ;) As I understand it, directors serve as liaisons between the membership and association governance. Each works with specific chapters and divisions to inform them and the association about what the other desires. As I understand it, several people nominated me. A representative of the nominating committee then asked to run for the position. It is not an office I sought for myself.

Four of us are competing for two Director positions. The other three candidates are Daniel Lee, Nettie Seaberry, and Michael Kim. The nominating committee did an excellent job of finding a very diverse slate of candidates.

I’ve known Nettie for a few years through the Solo Division—maybe the conversation I remember having with her is from my first SLA conference in Philadelphia in 2000. She is a wonderful woman who has been a special librarian in several settings. She presently works in New York.

I met Daniel Lee during some board activities before the annual conference this year. We talked a bit about trends in technology and librarianship, as you might imagine. He and I were in library school at about the same time (at different schools). Perhaps you read my post about SLA’s Innovation Laboratory? Lee worked on that. He also won SLA’s award for diversity this year and was highlighted in a video during either the opening or closing conference session. (I honestly can’t remember which one.) Lee works in Toronto.

Michael Kim and I didn’t get to talk as much as Daniel and I did during the pre-conference board activities. I don’t know that much about him, but I can tell you that as an immigrant to the United States from South Korea, he truly has an international perspective. An academic librarian with military experience, he has worked in Oklahoma and Florida and currently is at the University of Miami Libraries.

See? It’s easier for me to talk about them than to talk about myself. I’ll give you a very brief synopsis of my career and involvement with SLA so far. I’ve been involved with SLA since I was in graduate school and have learned first hand the value of professional associations and SLA. When I got a job running the university’s news library to pay my way through graduate school, I started paying attention to the News Division. Later, I joined the Solo and Information Technology Divisions. I transitioned from the Wisconsin to the Boston Chapter when I moved to start working at Harvard University. I consider the News Division to be my home division and have been very active there, including serving 4 years as Webmaster, running for Director of Publications and losing to Liz Donovan (Yay, Liz!), helping with conference planning several times, making some of those presentations, and currently serving as education director. I’ve served on two committees for the Boston Chapter and have participated in various activities there. I also regularly mentor students and first-time conference attendees, give presentations at different chapters, and write for different publications. Despite transitioning away from librarianship into software testing in the winter of 2007, I find SLA to still be relevant to a lot of what I’m doing. I’m keeping up with librarianship (I’ve got to have something to blog, no? ha ha ha) and hope I can continue to contribute to the profession.

I met the other candidates for the other positions, too. I don’t want to report on each of them. They’re all very competent and offer lots to the association. Deciding on candidates is going to be difficult this year.

If you have specific questions for me regarding my candidacy, please feel free to email me at jkbaumga at yahoo dot com. I don’t want to take up a lot of space on the scratchpad talking about the campaign, campaign issues, etc., because most of my blog readers might not find it relevant or important.

Update 8/18: SLA has a page with information about the election. It will run electronically between September 10 and October 1. There are also links to the YouTube videos. I heard the July Information Outlook issue with information about the candidates went out, but I still have not received a copy.

Update 8/22: SLA is hoping to have some webcast conversations with the president-elect candidates in early September.

Addenda 8/27: SLA offers a chat with the president-elect candidates on Wednesday, September 3, at 1 p ET.

8/30: Eric Schwarz summarizes the candidates and links to more information about us and the upcoming election.

9/19: I finally got my July issue of Information Outlook with the candidates profiles in it. SLA mailed it to my work address instead of my home address, which I thought I had listed as my primary address.

10/1: Having met some of the candidates didn’t necessarily make it any easier to vote because they all seem like terrific people who will do excellent jobs. I read the Information Outlook profiles while going through the ballot. It’s nice that voting can be an open book test. I was struck by how many of the candidates said similar things about the future of the organization and reaching out to potential SLA members. A lot of us sounded the same.

10/2: The election results are available. Congratulations to everyone who got elected! Daniel Lee and Nettie Seaberry are the new directors. I am very excited for them and know they will do an amazing job. The outcome does not upset me in the least. I appreciate those of you who decided to vote for me.

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