How volunteering moves me ahead on my professional development road map

I’ve written before about my professional development quest, to build the skills, experience, and knowledge base for the career I want in digital preservation and stewardship, archives, and cultural heritage. Well, I’m back at it, and in a big way.

Last month, I became the Archivist of the DC chapter of the Special Libraries Association. Through a combination of being in the right place at the right time, networking, and being persistent in pursuit of a dream, I took on a volunteer position that offers me the opportunity to plan and implement archival and digital preservation strategies and policies. With a wide network of information professionals to learn from, I’ll develop my skills and experience in digitization, digital project management, developing strategic plans and policies, and a host of other skills that are on my road map. Already, I’ve learned more about the goals of the association and its members by attending a chapter board meeting. I’ve been in contact with a community archivist, and received a reference question. I’ve conducted a preliminary assessment of the collections and their formats, in order to determine the materials and digital artifacts that need to be preserved.

This experience has reminded about the importance of networking, planning, and persistence. It has bolstered my confidence in my professional abilities, and in my ability to find/make opportunities to grow. It puts me back in charge of my professional and personal development. And I’m getting right into the driver’s seat.

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