OLC Member Spotlight

photo of LabibMeet Ris Labib, Adult Services Librarian (Business, Government & Science Division) at the Akron-Summit County Public Library.

Labib currently serves on the OLC’s Adult and Reference Services Division and has been a member of OLC for more than six years. She has enjoyed serving on this division and was instrumental in developing several professional development webinars and conference sessions. Labib has made the most of her OLC membership through active and meaningful participation. Read what Labib has to say about her OLC experience here and how you can find opportunities to become more involved with OLC!

Why did you become involved with OLC?

My initial involvement with OLC is a bit of a guilty confession: I did not have much of a choice to become a member, rather, I was fortunate that my former library paid for all librarians’ membership, regardless. However, I soon recognized the professional development and networking benefits and chose to take full advantage of my OLC membership — electing to run for a Division the very next year!

What was the first OLC event you attended?

The first event I attended was the OLC Leadership and Planning Conference in November of 2019. At first, it was intimidating (similar to the first day at school or at a new job), but everyone was so kind and helpful.

What was your first OLC  Division experience?

My first OLC Division experience was in 2020 as a newly elected At-Large Member of the Adult Services Division. There was definitely a learning curve – not just as a new Division member but as a citizen adjusting to a global pandemic!

How has OLC membership and participation contributed to your professional development and career success?

My OLC membership and participation has provided me with many opportunities to lead and serve my colleagues around the state. I have gained confidence in my voice by presenting on topics important to me and beneficial to the library community.

What is your favorite OLC memory?

Many of my favorite memories have occurred at the OLC’s Convention and Expo, where I’ve connected and conversed with a ton of brilliant individuals from libraries across the state. Each time, I have learned something new or found a fellow kindred spirit. A close second was getting to assist on the interview questions for Nancy Pearl – a figure I had read about in class and admired for her work in readers’ advisory. I am thankful OLC made a professional role model (virtually) accessible to me.

What is the best professional advice you’ve been given?

It’s difficult to pinpoint what has made the biggest impact on my career though there might be something to say about the best advice becoming the greatest habits. I have recently delighted in some advice regarding emails. One presented a potential solution to the great email-or-meeting debate by identifying a reply-thread threshold (in her case, six) after which the discussion would be moved to a virtual or in-person meeting. The other I found in a book, “The Comfort Book” by Matt Haig, which expanded my understanding of hope (and I hope this member spotlight finds you inspired).

Where can you sometimes be found in your free time?

During my free time, you can find me traveling. Whether it’s armchair or abroad, I am always looking to experience something novel – locations, food, and people.

Interested in learning more about serving on an OLC committee or division? 

Check the OLC website. There you will find information about how to get more involved with OLC. Do you know someone who might like to become an OLC Individual member? Please share this article with them or contact Jeanine D’Andrea, Director of Membership Services, at jdandrea@olc.org.

Member Spotlight

If you are interested in being featured by the OLC’s Membership Committee, please complete the Member Spotlight questionnaire on the OLC website. While we can’t guarantee that everyone will be spotlighted, we will endeavor to spotlight as many as possible over time.