Sarah on the benefits of AALL as a solo librarian and participating in Lobby Day
Sarah (Sherman) Walangitan is the Librarian at the Supreme Court of Illinois – Chicago Branch, Chicago, Illinois.
Why did you join AALL?
As soon as I accepted my current job, several colleagues encouraged me to join my local chapter, CALL. I joined both AALL and CALL to grow my network and have access to as many professional development opportunities as possible.
Why do you stay a member?
I stay a member because I keep learning and gaining valuable experiences from AALL. The webinars and networking have always been useful. Lately, I’m trying to volunteer for committees and be involved with SIS’s because they give me the opportunity to directly work with and learn from other professionals.
What one member benefit is most valuable to you?
Being both a solo librarian and new to the profession, the networking is the most important benefit. I appreciate all the ways AALL facilitates connections with other professionals. I’m finally starting to get over my fear of picking up the phone and calling someone for help. Everyone I’ve connected with has been happy to point me in the right direction.
What is your favorite memory associated with AALL?
I attended my first AALL Annual Meeting in Washington, DC in 2019. Since I am active in CALL’s Government Relations Committee, I decided to participate in AALL’s Lobby Day. I was the Illinois delegation coordinator, which meant scheduling all of our meetings with elected representatives and arranging for our transportation and meals. I was so nervous about the schedule and about talking to our representatives, but I ended up having a blast. My fellow Illinois delegates were experienced, fantastic advocates, and I learned a lot from them.
What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
All things food-related: cooking, baking, trying new restaurants, and watching food documentaries. I also enjoy gardening, podcasts on walks, and hanging out with my blue heeler, Buca.
What book(s) are you currently reading?
I’m always reading several books at once. Currently: Hood Feminism (Mikki Kendall), Minor Feelings (Cathy Park Hong), and Transcendent Kingdom (Yaa Gyasi).
What’s your favorite travel/vacation destination?
I visited Japan a few years ago and I’ve been trying to go back ever since. The cities are glittery and thrilling and all of the food is delicious. But my favorite part was the smaller mountain towns. They are so beautiful and peaceful.