ASSOCIATES (2014, March, v. 20, no. 3)


My 4 Years as President of NYSLAA

Sally McMaster
Past President NYSLAA
Interlibrary Loan Officer
Rush Rhees Library
University of Rochester

It was a pleasure to serve as the President of NYSLAA for two terms. I relied on the Executive Council to guide me. It was a learning experience for me. I have always volunteered in the past for the Conference, but had no idea what went on getting the Conference organized. It all looked very seamless when standing outside, but wow, it was an amazing experience. I was lucky enough to work with a great group of committed members to keep our organization going.

Being President I have had an opportunity of meeting many people. Networking is a big part of NYSLAA. I had the opportunity to stand up in from of over 200 people and not stutter as bad I thought I might. At the Conference I have met a lot of the speakers and enjoyed their expertise on a variety of subjects. We have such diversity in our organization.

NYSLAA is a proud group, created by Library Assistants, or other local titles. Our membership is open to support staff currently working in a library or Library system in New York State. Associate membership is open to all others from around the globe. We also welcome Librarians, Directors and Deans to be Associate members. Our membership fee is only $15 per year and $12 for Associate members.

The mission of the New York State Library Assistants’ Association is:

1. To enhance the professional image and status of NY State’s library assistants.

2. To further their professional growth.

3. To provide a network for communication to our members and the profession on library and library assistant issues.

4. To network and cooperate with library organizations on local, state, national, and international levels.

The members of NYSLAA strive to fulfil the mission. We have an annual conference each year. This moves around the state, relying of members to host the conference and put together workshops. We try and cover all types of Libraries that NYSLAA represent. That is no easy task, but with the help of our Conference Coordinator, Ruth Oberg (University at Buffalo, NY) we have tried to keep library types in mind. This year’s conference is June 4 – 6, in Saratoga Springs, NY.

Being President is not all just creating agenda’s and presiding over the meetings. It is jumping in where it is needed. Whether helping the treasurer, or with registration, or just taking the heat when something is not working quite right. We did have a dark 3 month period, but we were able to put that behind us and move on. I believe that made me a better President to work through that time period. We kept our autonomy and are keeping our mission in check.

I encourage members to be part of your organization. It was a great opportunity and I am glad that I got that phone call asking me if I would consider running. With the support from the University of Rochester Library it made my decision easier to say yes. I believe in NYSLAA and will continue to do my part in helping the organization to continue to grow. Michele Matthews from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is now President and will guide us into our next chapter.

Check out our website (WWW.NYSLAA.ORG) and conference information.