For my first professional association, I have selected the American Library Association (ALA). One of the main reasons I have selected this association is that I really love their motto, which is “the best reading, for the largest number, at the least cost” (“Mission & Priorities”, 2013). I find this motto, simple, concise and all-encompassing of what the ALA is about. This is one of the main reasons I am getting into the field of library and information science, I want to get the best researching and reading materials to as many patrons as I can, whilst keeping the cost low for them.
The stated mission of the ALA is “to provide leadership for the development, promotion, and improvement of library and information services and the profession of librarianship in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all” (“Mission & Priorities” 2013). I especially like how this mission statement addresses that library and information science is constantly shifting and evolving, yet they (the ALA) is committed to the highest improvement of the profession and to always have their librarians continue learning and enhancing their communities with their knowledge. There are three types of membership in the ALA, Regular Student which is $33, Library Support Staff is $65 and a Trustee Membership is $100. The biggest benefit to being a member of the ALA is the networking, by joining you are able to network with countless other librarians and libraries. There are several conferences, forums and meetings through the ALA that will be of great help when entering the job field and I am looking to network. That kind of exposure is invaluable when starting off a library career. The ALA’s website is very informative, and they are very visible to the community. The primary activities of the American Library Association is to advocate for libraries and to keep them current and relevant within communities. They have many conferences and webinars throughout the year. Through the ALA you can find a job, apply for grants, and also attend webinars and forums to stay current on what is going on in the field. In conclusion, I hope one day (not too far in the future) to be a member of the American Library Association. I feel that being a member of the ALA could significantly enhance my (future) career.
The American Library Association. Retrieved From http://www.ala.org/.
For my second professional association, I have selected the Association of College and Research Libraries. I feel that this will be an important association to me because of my interest of someday working in Academic Libraries. The main mission of the ACRL is to “enhance the ability of academic library and information professionals to serve the information needs of the higher education community and to improve learning, teaching, and research” (“About ACRL”, 2013). The ACRL was made official in June, 1938. It was then that the ACRL had official bylaws and began to receive a portion of dues from the American Library Association. A first time membership for the ACRL costs $124 and a student membership is $72.
By being a member of the ACRL one has access to a bevy of resources. The ACRL essentially sets the benchmark for the level of services and programs in the profession of academic libraries; they ensure that everything is of the highest quality. By becoming a member one also has the opportunity to work on their leadership skills, publish, attend seminars, possibly win awards, go to conferences and garner recognition and exposure for their own library. Also by being a member you get access to their special journals which offer information on what is going on in the field and new products and databases being used. By being a member there is also the possibility of getting products and databases for your library at a discounted rate. One perk to membership that I find especially helpful is the mentoring program they offer, this would be especially useful to those just entering the field. I think it would be very beneficial professionally speaking to be a member of this association. To be exposed to so many perspectives in the specialized field of Academic Libraries would be worthwhile to any librarian working in a university library.
The Association of College and Research Libraries. Retrieved From http://www.ala.org/acrl/.