Professional Associations

Two professional associations that I would like to join are ALA (American Library Association) and MLA (Michigan Library Association). I suppose these two associations are a bit typical to want to join, but I feel that being part of MLA is a great networking chance, and would allow me to attend conferences that could keep me current in my work near home. I would like to join ALA for a similar reason. It is our organization as a profession. I am unsure if I would be able to attend conferences and events as frequently, but it still seems like a good professional organization of which to be a part.

ALA has many benefits. According to ALA’s website their mission “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.” This seems like a worthwhile mission to advocate for. The promotion of access of information should be the cornerstone of any librarian. The membership prices vary and are dependent on the place you are in life. It seems that it offers the same thing for all members: professional support and continuing education. Anyone involved with a library can be a member, though the price is slightly cheaper for students and most expensive for salaried librarians. ALA has a great presence in social media. They have a Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr, and a Pinterest. Their website is a bit crowded, but overall, offers everything you may want to know about their organizations if you dig a little. They do many events including their large yearly conference, which I CANNOT wait to go to! ALA would be a great professional association to join.

MLA offers similar benefits to ALA, but on a more personal scale because it is in state. Their mission is “Helping Libraries and Library Professionals Succeed.” Their values are in line with the ethical values of libraries. It seems that anyone can join, but the price changes depending on what affiliation you have with a library. It is also nice that students get the cheapest price to enter. Members get the following benefits: a) Statewide Support for Libraries and Library Professionals, b) Professional Development, c) Statewide Networking and Collaboration, d) Current Information & Library Trends, e) Member Discounts, and f) Leadership and Career Advancement. MLA does a yearly conference, smaller conferences throughout the year, and events that take place in various locations. ­­­­­MLA can be found on Facebook and Twitter. Their website is a bit hectic, but easy to navigate. MLA would be a great group to be part of.

After taking a look at these two associations, if I only join two associations in my career, these would be two worthwhile ones to invest in. That is not to say I will not join more, but I will definitely be joining these two. I think MLA provides similar benefits to ALA, but on a more personal level. ALA gives you the opportunity to do national events. I feel that either would be beneficial to my future career.


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