I am writing this blog post as one of my final acts as President of GLISA. And what a ride it has been! Like some other GLISA officers, I came into this hesitantly; I jokingly say I was snookered in. Really, I had won the GLISA ALA 2014 scholarship and was subsequently asked by then President Elizabeth Hollenbeck if I would like to be an officer. Well, it was not really something I had endeavored for or even considered, but upon reflection (see, I did learn something in library school, lol), I really could not come up with an honest, viable excuse to say no. The Nos I came up with were BS, with ‘No Time’ being the biggest lie.
Thus, I said okay. Treasurer was out for me because I live in Houston with no plans on going to Denton. Secretary? No way, too much work. I’m the secretary for my HOA, undoubtedly a larger and more complex organization than GLISA, but I wasn’t taking any chances. Veep’s only is responsible for the newsletter each semester. That sounded about my speed. The hitch: after Veep, you are expected to stay on as President the following year to provide continuity. Eh, I could live with that.
My first year as Veep was a learning experience. The first semester, I couldn’t get my poop in a group and the newsletter ended up being really late, like just before the semester ended. I was not pleased with myself about that. I sat out the second semester because of extended military training. Even so, I felt like our leadership was weak and the officers did not gel. I was even considering not continuing on as an officer the following fall.
The position of President requires a strong leader who can make a decision and stick with it. S/he should ask for and welcome guidance from the experts and the other officers, but should not be ruled by committee for important items. A good president also needs to be able to trust his / her officers and delegate authority. If you are a person who must always be ‘in the weeds’ and micromanage, President is not the position for you. That is not to say the president cannot get his / her hands dirty; on the contrary, you must lead by example. One of the most important things I can say about being President is that you must tell all the officers your expectations from the get go. By doing this, you are setting them up for success and also giving them an out before they get too deep if they don’t think they can handle it.
This year as President of GLISA has been AWESOME! Under my guidance and suggestions, the officers came up with specific service projects for both semesters, created spectacular newsletters with ALL officers contributing and the VP editing, we garnered interest through intense social media coverage and our new blog / website, started an online book club, and more…Basically, we reinvented and reinvigorated GLISA to be a vibrant, positive student organization known throughout the SLIS department and campus wide.
My only important disappointment this year is leaving GLISA without officer volunteers for next school year. Three of the officers graduated…oh, about 24-72 hours ago; a fourth graduates in summer. The fifth has completed her term and will not continue. If you’re reading this blog, you are probably a GLISA member or thinking of becoming one. I know you’ve got it in you. Stand up and represent…become an officer today.