Julia Parker

Julia Parker

What is your current professional role?  I am an independent contractor and info pro, as Principal/CEO of my own business, Biosleuth Consulting Services, LLC.

Why did you become a librarian/info pro? Library School was the answer to my dream of being part of R&D efforts in the biotech industry, outside of the laboratory setting, building upon my background/subject expertise.
What inspired you to become involved with LMD?  I value the ongoing relationship I have enjoyed with SLA divisions & chapters ever since I helped with local arrangements at the ’97 SLA meeting in Seattle. I devoted myself to divisions geared specifically to my subject specialty early on in my career. At this point, I wanted to have the chance to learn from those in LMD, whom I have long respected for the way they influence and guide new direction for the Association, aligned with change that has occurred within our profession.
Are there any upcoming events or initiatives you’d like to tell us about?  I’m very excited to have the chance to again give back to the organization by planning sessions for the Consulting Section at SLA 2018. I hope that members will not only learn from their colleagues while in Baltimore, but develop new links in their professional networks.

What do you think is a key challenge for SLA (or for our profession) at present? Maintaining value for everyone in the Association. The incredible changes that continue to shape our various work environments, and the expanding role of information professionals into new niches are incredibly hard for SLA to address. The sheer breadth of knowledge within our profession makes determining direction and boundaries difficult when attempting to meet the bulk of information needs of both current and potential members within the information profession community, and doing so for those new to the profession and well established.

How can LMD members get more involved with the Division or  SLA? Take part in local, virtual (webinar) and national events. Be intentional: participate in your SLA Connect communities and open to sharing your experiences/”aha moments” from which others can benefit. Break out of your comfort zone to invest the time and take the risk associated with getting out there. Not only will you advance your professional goals, but cultivate life-long friendships – it’s a total win-win.

And, finally, a little-known fact about you that you’d like to share? My childhood hero was Jacques Cousteau; in 8th grade I won a trip working on an actual oceanographic research vessel, after the school Science Fair. So, I became certified by the Professional Association of Diver Instructors (PADI) in high school, even though I lived in land-locked Indiana, and aspired for a career as a marine biologist.