Written by: Gabrielle S. Bates

Earlier in the Fall, Jordan Burghardt chatted with the SJSU Special Libraries Student Chapter. Currently, Jordon Burghardt holds the title of Director of Engagement for SLA. She began the interview by defining special libraries. Burghardt describes them “as any entity that isn’t a public facing library.” Many companies, like Rolls Royce and Hershey’s, have their own special library.  There are countless special libraries, including medical and academic ones.

Burghardt shared the Student SLA and New Professional Advisory Council’s philosophy with us.  It is to “develop learning & network opportunities to attract and retain new information professionals”,  “to interface with communities to consolidate information”,  and to “strengthen and expand student groups.”

Then, she walked us through the key features of the site. SLA Connect is the simplest way to connect with members located worldwide. Over 80 communities are filtered by geographic location, subject matter, or interests. Student members are encouraged to use the membership directory. If you are more introverted than most, ask another member for help with an introduction.

Jordan recommends following SLA on all their social media accounts. They are active on Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedin. Member Monday is one of the first activities student members are asked to do. It requires submission of a headshot and a testimonial dictating why you are interested in Special Libraries. This profile is then shared on SLA social media pages. It’s a great way to introduce yourself to the community.

Another important resource for student members is the Learning Hub. The Learning Hub contains conferences, certification classes, webinars, and live events. It is searchable by keywords. Finally, the Career Center. It is similar to other job search pages like InDeed. Keep in mind that sometimes jobs are posted within a community, not on the job board.

Jordan wants us to know that SLA members are “giving of their time to those new to the profession. They are willing to lend a helping hand. It is a warm, receptive and welcoming community.”

The student membership price is $10 for 12 months of membership. SLA also has a transitional rate for those graduating and going into a career. It is only $100 for a year. All members have the same access to the site. It is never too earlier to explore career possibilities and make connections. If you have any questions, feel free to email Jordan at Jordan.Burghardt@sla.org.


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