Anne Barker

Anne Barker

1.     Why did you become an info pro?

I have always had a particular interest in and enjoyment of research, and especially like finding the puzzle pieces and putting them together. The best part has always been the continual learning – there is usually something new topically and, even when there isn’t, there’s a new resource or updates to an existing one to learn.

 2.     What is your current role? 

I am an Information Specialist at Genentech, a biotechnology company in the San Francisco Bay region. I work in the Legal Department, where I specialize in patent, litigation, and pharmaceutical pipeline research and analysis. Speaking of learning new things, I started at this job just over a year ago and, while I had 10 years of experience in legal and patent information, I had no substantial science background; it has definitely been a learning process!

 3.     What inspired you to become involved with LMD?

I have done a lot of work in a variety of roles at the Chapter level, but I have not done a lot on the Division side. It seemed like the time to fill that knowledge gap. LMD is a vibrant division, with active volunteers working hard to bring real value to its members, so that was appealing. I also like that the Division’s activities cut across all topical areas, and that it concentrates not just on people in management roles at work, but on helping all SLA members develop leadership skills for whatever position they are in now and the ones they are eyeballing for the future. It’s a very aspirational focus.

 4.     Tell us about your history and current role with LMD

Currently, I am serving as LMD’s Treasurer. I just began this role in January, so I’m still coming up to speed on all of the actions and responsibilities. Getting all of the financial accounts transferred over to me has taken up most of the time so far, but I’m almost there and look forward to contributing going forward.

Previously, I participated in LMD webinars and attended conference sessions. For SLA in general, I became a student member in 2001, and have maintained my membership continuously. I have served the San Francisco Bay Region Chapter as President (2012-2014), Secretary (2009-2010), Government Relations Chair (2006-2012), and on the Academic Relations Committee (2015 Chair, 2003-2005). Most recently I was the Chapter’s Awards Committee Chair, and I was the lead planner for the Western States Chapters Reception at the 2016 conference.

On the Association side, I was Chair of SLA’s Nominating Committee for the 2016 election. I have also been Director of Membership for the Government Information Division (2011) and was on SLA’s Public Policy Advisory Council (2009-2011) and the Student and Academic Relations Committee (2002-2003).

 5.     Are there any upcoming events or initiatives you’d like to tell us about?

 Currently, my main initiative is to ramp up for this role. More will be forthcoming, I’m sure.

 6.     What do you think is a key challenge for SLA or our professions at present?

A key challenge for SLA continues to be engaging with members and potential members in a world where people have access to professional development and networking opportunities from many more places than they used to. There are three separate librarian meet-up groups that I know of in the SF Bay Area that each hold social events a few times a year. These have no membership fees, no obligations, just come out for a happy hour. SLA needs to find a way both to be that attractive and to augment its offerings.

 For our profession… well, information literacy has revealed itself to be a much bigger issue than I think we were even aware. This provides great opportunities for us to demonstrate our skill set, but there are also clearly huge challenges to be overcome in getting people to agree on reliable sources again, and to support and maintain those that exist.

 7.     How can LMD members get more involved with the division or with SLA?

Just ask. There’s usually something you can help with. If there’s something you don’t like, tell us, but also be prepared to give us suggestions of what you think would be better. We can’t read minds or come up with all possible ideas on our own. Be a part of our community!

 8.     And, finally, a little-known fact about you – this could be a hobby, favorite book, or just whatever you’d like to share.

In my “free” time, I volunteer at WildCare, a wildlife rehabilitation center in Marin County. Since January 2003, my husband and I have spent our Sunday mornings volunteering in the wildlife hospital. We are also on the raccoon foster care team and usually have orphaned raccoons in an enclosure in our yard from June to October every year. In spite of the fact that I can give injections, clean horrible wounds, and am known for my steady hands when drawing blood or suturing, if I think about what I’m doing or watch someone else do it, I get incredible queasy. The mind is weird that way.