Welcoming our new President Elect – Shaun Kennedy

SLA Europe are delighted to end another year with an an amazing array of events and webinars. We are now looking forward to planning various events for 2022, especially in consideration of our 50th anniversary.

As our 2022 President Claire Sewell moves to take on the mantle from our 2021 President Amy Stubbing, we are thrilled to announce our new President Elect for 2023, Shaun Kennedy.

Shaun has been an active member of SLA and SLA Europe for many years, most prominently as our Student and New Professionals Chair.

See Shaun’s interview below to learn more about him and what he hopes to achieve as our new President-Elect: 

Tell us how you started off in the information profession? 

Unlike most people who seem to far into the librarian/information profession, I always wanted to be one. I helped out in the school library in primary school and I was a pupil librarian during my time in high school and was head librarian in my final year. Before I left school I had already decided I wanted to be a librarian, but when I told my parents they firmly suggested I go to the army and think about it. So I did my National Service in the South African Defence Force, as I was subject to conscription at the time.

When I got back I still wanted to be a librarian and started my degree at the then Cape Technikon.

How did you first get involved in SLA and why? 

Before I joined the SLA I used to occasionally go the events, especially the soirées. I actually joined SLA because I was looking for a mentor for my CILIP chartership. I was out for drinks with some librarian acquaintances and Katharine Schopflin volunteered to be my mentor on the condition I joined SLA. What I did not realise at the time was that Katharine was President Elect for SLA Europe and was on a bit of a recruiting drive.

I never did complete the chartership, but I have remained a member since.

Why SLA? 

While I have primarily been a health librarian most of my professional career I have worked in a number of other library sectors, however over the years my involvement in the SLA has highlighted how multifaceted the library/information profession really is. The organisation has also had an impact on my professional development as I was fortunate enough to be involved helping to organise the first SLA Europe conference.

What are your plans for the coming year? 

I suspect I will be doing what ever other President Elect who has come before me has done – learn everything I can from my predecessors. Amy and Claire have made it all look easy so far and I would definitely like to learn their secrets. Beyond that I would like to find ways for librarian students engage more with the SLA especially next year being the 50th anniversary of the founding of SLA Europe.