The following reflection was shared by Sue Kesner, Senior Director, Rightsholder Relations, at Copyright Clearance Center and past president of SSP. A librarian by training, Kesner began her career at the University of London and Stanford, before holding various positions with SilverPlatter and Infotrieve.
I was encouraged to become active in SSP by my manager, when I accepted a job that focused on publishers (rather than the academic library market). I think it was the best advice she gave me. She told me to join committees, become active, and network with everyone – publishers, librarians, and other vendors.
I joined the Membership Committee around 2000 and I don’t think a year has gone by in which I have not been a member of some SSP committee or another. I’m not even sure I can remember them all and some don’t even exist anymore!
I am currently serving as a mentor and Chair of the Scholarly Kitchen Cabinet. Over the years, I was on the Development Committee, the Annual Meeting Committee several times, and co-chaired the Annual Meeting twice. I ran the Professional Development Committee, served on the Organizational Liaison Committee, and volunteered as a mentor multiple times. And, at the time of our 30th anniversary, I served as President!
Becoming part of the SSP community has given me insight into the scholarly publishing ecosystem, beyond what I would have learned in most courses, as well as a wide-ranging group of colleagues and friends that I can call on with questions or for friendly discussion. SSP feels like ‘home’ to me. To anyone looking to become more active in scholarly communication, I say… (sounding just like my boss of 20 years ago! “Join SSP! Become active, get on committees, and network!”