Library professional organizations, such as CHLA/ABSC, have been important to me throughout my career as a health sciences librarian. They have provided me with opportunities for contact with many librarians I could never have met in my workplaces, for activities and endeavours my employers didn’t sponsor (but found important), and for invaluable continuing education and professional development experiences. Professional associations have enriched my working life and enhanced my commitment to health sciences librarianship tremendously for more than 30 years.
Some of the people with whom I have worked in library professional associations have become close friends. Some of the causes supported by the work I did with these associations have become ongoing commitments. The offices I held in professional associations and the committees and task forces on which I spent time and energy allowed me to discover aptitudes and to develop skills which supported and, perhaps, enhanced those needed to do the work I was employed to do. Meeting and working with national and international leaders in our profession has been both enjoyable and, at times, challenging.
Activity with a national professional association –think of organizations such as CHLA/ABSC and MLA, for instance – allows one to have an impact far beyond one’s everyday circle of influence. The considerations which go into committee work affecting people over a wide geographic area and in many different occupational settings require you to think far beyond your own workplace and situation no matter how large (or small)it may be. Even involvement with the local chapter of one of these professional associations rewards you with new perspectives on the activities you undertake on a daily basis, whether at work or in your personal life. Involvement with professional associations has, in my experience, been rewarding personally and professionally. It has allowed me opportunities to undertake activities and to gain recognition I would not have had simply as the result of my employment. Professional associations and their activities wrap up volunteerism, career development and personal growth into a nice gift package that satisfies and benefits both you and your peers.
Tom Flemming, MA, MLS, AHIP
I joined CHLA as a student because I loved my Health Sciences Information course and I wanted to know more about the field. I learned a lot and then some. As a student I found the Fact Sheets and Bibliographies, available to Members only, to be a particularly valuable resource for me during my Library Studies. Now as a professional I find that CHLA keeps me abreast of new developments in health librarianship, it offers valuable CE opportunities, and it’s a great way to get you involved in the community.
Health Sciences Library
University of Ottawa
Being a member of CHLA gives you have an active voice in issues
affecting the health libraries community. When we work together, we can
influence policy and create change. Serving on the CHLA Board lets you
hone skills you may not be using in your current position. You gain a
nation-wide perspective on our profession and our libraries. And you
will meet some great people whom you otherwise might never get a chance
Thomasin Adams-Webber (former CHLA/ABSC President)
Systems & Clinical Services Librarian
Hospital Library, The Hospital for Sick Children
CHLA/ABSC is a treasure
I joined CHLA/ABSC when it was established in 1976, shortly after graduating with my MLS from Dalhousie University and becoming librarian of the College of Family Physicians of Canada. What an exciting time in my professional life. CHLA/ABSC provided the perfect environment for a young librarian to meet fellow enthusiasts across Canada and share the excitement of changes that were underway in the field. The association provided both formal and informal opportunities for professional growth, through discussions with colleagues, CE courses and participation on committees and task forces. After I became director of the McMaster University Health Sciences Library, it was an honour and a wonderful experience to serve as CHLA/ABSC president in 1986-87. CHLA/ABSC conferences have always been a fabulous and cost-effective way to share ideas with colleagues, rekindle distant friendships and get to see many of the cities in Canada. I'm finding that even in retirement, since early 2008, CHLA/ABSC continues to provide a useful link to the community, through association emails and its website. It's been over 30 years since I joined CHLA/ABSC, and I continue to see it as a vital and vibrant resource. Thanks CHLA/ABSC for being such a treasure for a librarian from her early days in the profession through to her retirement. You've been just grand!