One of things I love about PSALA is the opportunity to meet new people and turn acquaintances into friends.  It may or may not surprise you to know that I am not what you would call an extrovert, so I find it hard to connect in big groups and prefer more one on one conversations.  While PSALA is well known for it’s social events, we started a program last year called Spark that has changed the way I, and many others, think about traditional “networking.”

Spark is the best kind of innovation because it is quick, simple, and powerful.  It takes less than a minute to join Spark by following this link.  Put in your name and a bit of information and you’re done.  Each month you will be sent your new Spark connection and invited to meet up for coffee or lunch.  Your connection, always another PSLA member, might be someone brand new to ALA, someone you have never met, or someone you have said hello to for years, but never taken the time to get to know better.  Then… you meet.  That’s it.

It sounds simple, but there is something profound about taking the time to connect one on one with a peer and learn about his or her life.  I have had several Spark connections, and I have taken away personal and professional enrichment from each meeting.  If the value of PSALA is based, in part, on personal connections forged through shared experience, Spark is the catalyst to get more from your membership.

Talk to anyone who has participated in Spark, and you will hear nothing but great reviews.  Despite the glowing praise we heap upon this service, we neither pay, nor receive payment, to participate.  And yet, I have become a convert, and I hope you will sign up today and start connecting.  I promise you will not be disappointed.  To join Spark, sign up here.  Hope we’ll be grabbing coffee soon!