Student Chapter Answers: What Does ALA Do to Help Student Chapters?

| What Does ALA Do to Help Student Chapters? | Proviudes Ways for Members to Contact Congress and Contact State and Local Representatives | Provides a Business E-list and Student Chapter Directory | ALA Student-to-Staff Program | Volunteering at Conference | Encourages Ways to Participate in ALA | Provides Information about Jobs | Provides Monetary Support for Your Chapter | Encourages Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion | Provides Information about Awards, Grants, Scholarships | Provides Promotional Materials and More | Provides  Accreditation | Public Awareness Campaign | Social Media | ALA New Members Round Table Student Chapter of the Year Award |

What Does ALA Do to Help Student Chapters?

Provides Ways for Members to Contact Congress and Contact State and Local Representatives

Contact Congress
Take action on federal issues for libraries (Washington Office Take Action page) and learn more about policy and advocacy issues by state.

Save Libraries in Your State
Links to websites, blogs, pages on Facebook, etc., dedicated to advocating for libraries or saving libraries in a state, and more.

State and Local Resources
The ALA Chapter Relations Office (CRO) supports ALA’s advocacy efforts by tracking federal, state, and local legislation and other issues affecting libraries, and by working with the Office for Library Advocacy, the Communications and Marketing Office, the ALA Washington Office, I Love Libraries, other ALA units, and other groups.

Take Action for Libraries
Links to where you can take action for the libraries in your state, as well as to take action on federal legislation affecting libraries, and more.

Provides a Business E-list and Student Chapter Directory

If you are a Student Chapter leader, faculty advisor, or dean, be sure you are subscribed to the CRO business e-list, stuchapt@lists.ala.org. The Chapter Relations Office created an e-list to allow students to connect with other chapters and exchange information regarding chapter activities, events, and other ideas. This e-list is the primary means of direct communication from the Chapter Relations Office to the Student Chapters. To be subscribed, please contact Don Wood.

Because this e-list is the primary means of direct communication (and there’s also the phone! . . . 1-800-545-2433, ext. 2429, or 1-312-280-2429), please send all leadership contact updates to Don Wood.

  • Student Chapter Directory. Contact information for Student Chapter leaders, including presidents, faculty advisors, and directors, and more.
  • Student Chapter presidents and faculty advisors are subscribed to the Student Chapter e-list (stuchapt@lists.ala.org). The ALA Chapter Relations Office—liaison to the ALA Student Chapters—communicates to the ALA Student Chapters via this business e-list.
  • Please send any comments, questions, or changes to Don Wood, Chapter Relations Office.

Brainstorm ideas with other student chapters (an online directory is found on the ALA website). In other words, the business e-list and the ALA Connect Community Student Chapter Leadership are two additional ways you can communicate with and share ideas and questions with your colleagues.

ALA Student-to-Staff Program

The Student-to-Staff Program is only offered during ALA Annual Conference. There are no volunteer opportunities offered during ALA Midwinter Meetings.

The Student to Staff program is only offered to ALA Student Chapters, which nominate 40 library students to assist ALA staff during ALA Annual Conference. If these students meet the criteria established under the program, in exchange for their working four hours a day for a total of 16 hours, these students receive free conference registration, housing, and a per diem for meal expenses. During free time, they may attend programs and participate in other conference activities.

Volunteering at Conference

Thanks for your interest in volunteering!

As of now, there is only one permanently established, formal program for volunteering at an ALA conference and that is the Student-to-Staff Program (see also immediately above), which is only held at Annual Conference. There are no volunteer opportunities offered during ALA Midwinter Meetings.

Encourages Ways to Participate in ALA

Join one of the ALA Round Tables. Of particular interest may be the New Members Round Table, which offers grants, scholarships, and awards, such as the Student Chapter of the Year Award.

Provides Information about Jobs

Links to information about ALA Conference Placement Service, JobList, scholarships, and more, can be found at the ALA Office for Human Resource Development & Recruitment.

Want a great resume? Go to the NMRT Resume Review Service!

Provides Monetary Support for Your Chapter

Good news! Your chapter can be reimbursed for up to $100 per fiscal year (ALA’s fiscal year, which would be, for example, Sept. 1, 2016, through August 31, 2017) for programs and events it holds. All you need to do is send your original receipts to the ALA Chapter Relations Office at 50 E. Huron St., Chicago IL 60611, attention, Don Wood., with a letter requesting the reimbursement and to whom or what the check should be made out and  to whom it should be sent. We do ask that if possible, receipts are sent together rather than smaller requests throughout the year. Much thanks!

NOTE: Please don't save up years' worth of receipts. ALA Accounting Department prefers receipts are dated within the corresponding fiscal year. Plus, the Chapter Relations Office budgets its expenses for each fiscal year. Thanks! And do let us know what you spent the money on that we are reimbursing you (e.g., annual membership drive).

Encourages Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

The Office for Diversity, Literacy, and Outreach Services oversees the ALA Annual Diversity Research Grant, which addresses critical gaps in the knowledge of diversity issues within library and information science, and the Spectrum Scholarship Program, ALA’s national diversity and recruitment effort designed to address the specific issue of under-representation of critically needed ethnic librarians within the profession while serving as a model for ways to bring attention to larger diversity issues in the future. See also Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion.

Libraries Respond
The ALA Office for Diversity, Literacy, and Outreach Services has created Libraries Respond as a space for us to help keep current events in conversation with libraries' ongoing work in and commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion. This page will be a resource for the library community to share information, find resources, and connect as they serve their communities. Follow #LibrariesRespond

Provides Information about Awards, Grants, Scholarships

Through its ALA Scholarship Program, the American Library Association (ALA) is committed to promoting and advancing the librarian profession. To demonstrate this commitment, the ALA and its units provide more than $300,000 annually for study in a master's degree in library and information studies from an ALA accredited program, or for a master's degree in school library media program that meets the ALA curriculum guidelines for a Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) accredited unit. See ALA-accredited programs of library and information services and AASL-CAEP School Librarianship Education Programs.

If you are considering a degree in library and information science, or if you know a student, library worker, or college graduate from an underrepresented group who might help shape the future of library services, the time is now to learn more about the American Library Association's Spectrum Scholarships.

Established in 1997, the Spectrum Scholarship Program is ALA's national diversity and recruitment effort designed to address the specific issue of under-representation of critically needed ethnic librarians within the profession while serving as a model for ways to bring attention to larger diversity issues in the future.

See also ALA Awards and Grants.

Provides Promotional Materials and More

If you would like an ALA leader to speak at your Student Chapter, or if you would like ALA promotional and informational materials, we will try to arrange this. Contact Don Wood with all the particulars (i.e., who you would like to speak, when, on what topic, if any, etc.; what kinds of materials you would like, for example, membership brochures).

Provides  Accreditation

The American Library Association (ALA) accredits master’s programs in library and information studies across the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico. Accreditation is achieved through a review process conducted by an external review panel of practitioners and academics that verifies that the program meets the Standards for Accreditation of Master’s Programs in Library and Information Studies.

Graduating from an ALA-accredited program provides flexibility in the types of libraries and jobs you can apply for and enhances career mobility. Many employers require an ALA-accredited master's degree for professional level positions, and some states require an ALA-accredited degree to work as a professional librarian in public or school libraries.

The Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) is a national accrediting body for schools, colleges, and departments of education authorized by the U.S. Department of Education. CAEP determines which schools, colleges, and departments of education meet rigorous national standards in preparing teachers and other school specialists for the classroom. The American Library Association and the American Association of School Libraries were pleased at recent interest expressed by students and faculty at a number of schools in forming ALA Student Chapters to foster professional affiliation. As a result ALA has expanded its Student Chapter program so that AASL/CAEP-accredited programs can establish ALA Student Chapters. See AASL-CAEP School Librarianship Education Programs. See also About NCATE.

Public Awareness Campaign

  • Libraries Transform. Designed to increase public awareness of the value, impact and services provided by libraries and library professionals, the Libraries Transform campaign will ensure there is one clear, energetic voice for our profession. Showcasing the transformative nature of today’s libraries and elevating the critical role libraries play in the digital age.

Social Media

ALA New Members Round Table Student Chapter of the Year Award

In the spirit of ALA's New Members Round Table, the Student Chapter of the Year Award is presented in recognition of a chapter's outstanding contributions to the American Library Association, their school, and the profession. The purpose of the award is to increase student involvement in ALA through student chapters, and to recognize future leaders in the profession.