I joined PaLA in 2014 (or was it 2013?), seven or eight years after moving to Pennsylvania for a library job. I had been heavily involved in the Tennessee Library Association and was (still am) crazy-active nationally in ALA. I’m sure there was some lame excuse for not joining when I got here, I have no idea what it was, but now that I am a member (an active member, of course) I really wish I’d joined from day one.
• Why get involved at the state level?
That’s easy: everything is local, results can be seen more quickly, and all politics start at the local level.
• How did I become involved in libraries?
That’s a long convoluted tale: Mom brought me to our excellent town library as a wee bairn… My active involvement starts with receiving help from a girl-friend who worked at Storrs Library in high school, continues with a girlfriend who worked in the Mastics-Moriches-Shirley Community Library in college; it dips into improbability when a truck driver & NYC nightclub bouncer (me) gets a job at the NYPL Research Libraries (page in the stacks, library assistant 1 in Manuscripts and Archives, library assistant 3 in the Office of Special Collections), discovered for myself that working in libraries is COOL, and applies (and gets) a teaching assistant position at a library school in Tennessee where I met my wife; and then wends its way through public libraries (Brooklyn NY & Chattanooga TN), special libraries (SunTrust Equitable Securities Investment Banking Group), and into academic libraries (Austin Peay State University (TN) & now Shippensburg University. There are a terrifying number of stories along that path, most many some of which are even believable.
• What sort of interesting, yet improbable, info is available about me?
Well: [redacted, it’s too soon], [redacted, to protect the identities of the innocent], I’ve served on ALA Council since just after I moved to PA (2007), and I have physically crossed into and out of more than half the counties of the United States at least once – depending on which of my Rand McNally atlases I reference, I have either one or five PA counties to go: Elk, Forest, McKean, Sullivan, & Warren.