SLA gives 5 members the honor of being a fellow every year. The SLA Fellows have been recognized for their outstanding work for the association and the profession. New SLA Fellow Dennie Heye has started to interview other SLA Fellows to find out what we can learn from them. This is the first in a series of SLA Fellow interviews.
Marlene VogelsangMarlene Vogelsang is the Resource Specialist at the Pacific Energy Center since 1992. She became a SLA Fellow in 2011. Since 1987 she has been active in SLA, playing crucial roles in the division of Petroleum and Energy Resources and the Baseball caucus amongst others.

As fellow, you have been recognized for your work to enhance SLA and the profession. I always feel that as fellows, we are standing on shoulders of giants. Who within the profession was the first to inspire you?

Cindy Hill was the first,  still does and always will inspire me. When I was at San Jose State for graduate school ( I had been a 1st/3rd grade teacher for 14 years, then one year as a school librarian in St. Thomas USVI) I was having difficulties with my Theory of Information coursework. The reader (this is back in 1987) was probably over 350 pages of dense, theoretical articles).  I floundered and went to talk to the Dean Jim Healey, about my concerns. He sent me to Cindy, who had also been a school teacher before she came to libraries.   Cindy sat me down, listened to my worries, talked me through it, encouraged me and… well, here I am today.

She has never ceased to inspire me with her dedication to the profession, her  innovative ideas and perspectives and most importantly, her very genuine care for her friends/colleagues.   I only wish I had had the opportunity to work with/for her in an information service setting.

If you think about the future of our profession – what keeps you awake at night and why?

Fortunately, I sleep well. ;-)

I am excited about “the future” of our profession as I see new and innovative ideas and tools come into play.  Our colleagues are taking advantage of technology and pushing change…but not losing our patron/customer/client focus  (this can be challenging when much is accomplished virtually).

I do struggle to keep up with the new tools.  Fortunately SLA tries to provide exposure and training to  many of them.

If you were given a chance to go 10 years back in time, what would you do differently in your job and professional development?

I would have made more effort to embrace technologies, especially social media for professional purposes.

In order to remain relevant in the future, what should SLA start doing? Stop doing? Do more of?

I would like SLA to address the needs of mid/late career professionals – continue the technical skills training/webinars, continue presenting cutting-edge technologies in the context that info professionals can make use of them; soft skill development. Do this while dropping back the cost of conference attendance.  I think we may be pricing ourselves out of reach.

1 comment on “Insights from the SLA Fellows – Marlene Vogelsang”

  1. Lorene Kennard

    I love the idea of interviewing our Fellows. We can all learn from their experiences. Marlene is the perfect first subject, too. I met her at my first SLA Annual Conference in Philly in 2000. She has become a great friend and mentor. Every year at conference, she plans on doing a CE course and fills out her daily schedule with a variety of sessions so she can keep learning. She could easily rest on her laurels and attend a session or two while spending most of the conference catching up with longtime colleagues. It is inspirational to see someone who has done so much with her career continue to have a passion for learning and ensuring that her library remain a vital piece of her organization.

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