By Bob DeFabrizio, Membership Committee
Engagement. Much has been written about the need for organizations to engage their employees, members, voters, readers, etc. But what does this mean? Engagement is defined as “something that engages” or “emotional involvement or commitment.” To engage is to “hold the attention of” or “induce participation.”
It is essential for maintaining a vibrant member organization, such as LLNE, that it strives to engage members. LLNE attempts to accomplish this through education, blogs, social events, and community service. By fostering a professional “community,” LLNE seeks to advance its stated purpose “to enhance the roles of law librarians in the legal and library professions.”
Unlike larger, better-funded, organizations, such as AALL, employing full-time staff, LLNE relies on the gift of time and energy by its volunteer members. This task requires dedication and vision, keeping in mind the past, present, and future. The Association must balance the needs of its diverse membership with the fiscal and administrative responsibilities incumbent with running such an organization.
One important and less discussed part of engagement is the responsibility of Association members to engage with the organization. A community requires the involvement and commitment of its members to each other and to the community at large. Members should endeavor to engage with other members. We have much to gain and learn from each other. When was the last time you had coffee or lunch with a colleague? We need to take the time to connect with our neighbor members. Today, technology is seen as keeping us “connected.” However, as Sajan Patel recently pointed out “(t)echnology should be used to amplify your community, but it’s not your community itself.” (www.entrepreneur.com/article/308921)
Just as LLNE needs to engage its members, its members must engage with LLNE, and more importantly, each other.
“ENGAGE, INVOLVE, COLLABORATE”