On saying “Yes”: Stacy Gilbert, RUSA’s 2017 Emerging Leader

headshot Stacy Gilbert

Months ago, a colleague told me I should apply for ALA’s Emerging Leader (EL) program. I figured, “Why not?”, as the past few years I’ve been trying to say “yes” to all the opportunities that have come my way. I’ve been saying “yes” before the Grey’s Anatomy creator, Shonda Rhimes, made it popular.

When I received an email announcing I was selected to be the Reference and User Services Association‘s (RUSA), a division of the American Library Association, Emerging Leader, it was exciting. For as long as I’ve been saying “yes”, I’ve also figured out the best way I learn and not get intimidated by something is by being thrown into the mix right away. I was not only proud to receive this honor, but I was eager to get thrown into RUSA.

I’m also excited to be thrown into the other areas of ALA besides RUSA. ELs are put on projects that are sponsored by various Committees, Divisions, Round Tables, and other groups in ALA. The project I’m working on with five other ELs is sponsored by the International Relations Round Table (IRRT). IRRT has a Sister Libraries Committee that works to promote “Sister Library relationships with libraries and librarians throughout the world.” The EL’s project will (1) identify the factors that lead to a successful and sustainable international library partnerships, (2) propose new approaches to improve the sustainability of Sister Libraries partnerships, (3) provide updated information about Sister Libraries partnerships to the Sister Libraries Committee and develop/update Sister Libraries materials.

What drew me to this project is my brief experience of interning at an embassy where I saw the power of diplomacy and seeing two countries share common interests. I see the same spirit in Sister Libraries. Additionally, I was previously an international student and studied with classmates from all over the world. I hope to bring my international experience to this project.

I think this project will be a lot of work, but I can’t wait to start. My teammates and I have formulated a plan and we are beginning to work on a literature review. In a few days we will have a virtual meeting with the Sister Libraries Committee. Look for our final project in poster form at the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago.

Stacy Gilbert
ALA Emerging Leader
Media, Communications, and Information Librarian
University of Colorado Boulder

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