01 February 2005

On Being LSO Social Coordinator

by Virginia Sanchez and Will Ascarza

Librarians and other information professionals have a well-earned reputation for being knowledgeable and hardworking, “nose-to-the-grindstone” personalities. What is seldom seen by many outside the profession is the social, fun-loving side.

The School of Information Resources and Library Science (SIRLS) at the University of Arizona has a very active student chapter, the Library Student Organization (LSO), which brings not only educational and professional development opportunities to the SIRLS student body, but social and networking opportunities as well. To learn more about what an LSO Social Coordinator, or Co-Coordinator might do, read on.

The SIRLS student body is a very busy, diverse and far-flung group of people. As busy as everyone is, it is important to take a "breather" every now and then and have some fun. In between classes and other responsibilities, connect with your classmates, SIRLS faculty and staff, and the other people who are part of the SIRLS community. As the student chapter of the American Library Association (ALA), the Library Student Organization (LSO) provides a support system for SIRLS students, which includes social events.

The LSO Social Coordinator arranges events for the SIRLS community, which includes Social Hours, hikes, tours pizza parties, and other events. Performing the duties of an LSO Social Coordinator allows you to express the fun part of being a SIRLS student as you coordinate casual ways for your fellow students to get together in a social setting, outside of the classroom.

As a Social Coordinator, you are a voting member of the LSO executive Board, and your voice is heard in making decisions on behalf of your peers, based on the information brought to the table during the Board meetings and in networking between meetings. The Social Coordinator position is ideal for someone who loves people and enjoys making a positive difference for others through a leadership role.

Planning events is much easier and fun with the help of a co-coordinator. Don’t try to do everything yourself! Shoot for a minimum, but no maximum. Allow for flexibility in attendance and participation. One social event per month is good, but do not limit yourself. If you want to do seven or eight, why not? The possibilities are unlimited. If you have the time and energy, go for it! There are many resources to find events and locations for social events. A little creativity, some asking about and a bit of keeping one's eyes peeled can add variety to the menu of social events. Coordinate with other board members and your fellow students to plan events that will have a broad appeal. Have board members personally invite folks. People respond better to personal invitations. Break the stereotype of the shy librarian! And always remember SIRLS staff and faculty when inviting.

We are certain that you will see that helping people have fun while getting a great education is just as fun for the planner as everyone else!!

Virginia Sanchez
LSO Social Co-Coordinator, Spring 2004
SIRLS Class of Spring 2004

Will Ascarza
LSO Social Co-Coordinator, Spring 2004
LSO Social Coordinator and SLA Tour Coordinator, Summer/Fall 2004
SIRLS Class of Fall 2004

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