Get Involved! Top 12 Ways to Connect with ACRL

ACRL offers many meaningful ways to connect, grow, and learn. ACRL encourages members to form social and professional relationships that last a career and a lifetime.  Here’s a dozen ways to get involved:

1. Read
Think critically and creatively about contributions you can make to the field (and to your library). Your subscriptions to College & Research Libraries News and College & Research Libraries keep you up-to-date, bringing you the latest news and most respected research in the field. C&RL News is a monthly newsmagazine, featuring “timely and interesting” articles on the latest trends and practices affecting academic and research libraries as well as official ACRL news. All articles from 2004 to the present are freely available online. C&RL is a bimonthly journal featuring scholarly research in academic librarianship. Preprints as well as all articles from 1997 to the present are freely available online. ACRLog  also provides deeper insight into important issues affecting higher education and our profession. Subscribe to ACRL Update and ACRL Forum for news about important association activities, opportunities, and issues; subscribe to the ACRL Legislative Update to keep current on public policy issues affecting academic and research librarianship.

2. Build Your Professional Skill Set
Keep learning virtually and face to face! Academic and research librarians want to become better librarians, so ACRL offers a wide range of online seminars, Webcasts, and virtual conferences designed to meet the demands of your schedule and budgets. ACRL strives to add intensive educational programming for members, including the Institute for Information Literacy Immersion Program, and ACRL/Harvard Leadership Institute as well as workshops and preconferences at ALA Midwinter Meetings and Annual Conferences.  See “Conference & Events” for the most current information.

3.  Find Your Niche
Tap into the ACRL discussion and interest groups. More than 50 discussion and interest groups meet at the ALA Midwinter Meeting and Annual Conference to explore issues, trends, and best practices in all areas of academic and research librarianship. These forums serve as informal networks where you can discuss emerging issues and challenges with supportive colleagues from across the country.  Want to start a new group?  Contact ACRL Associate Director Mary Jane Petrowski (mpetrowski@ala.org) for more information.

4. Put Pen to Paper
Write an article for C&RL News, C&RL, RBM: A Journal of Rare Books, Manuscripts, and Cultural Heritage. Become a reviewer for CHOICE. Translate ACRL standards and guidelines into another language, or submit a book proposal.  (Contact ACRL for more information at (800) 545-2433, ext. 2523.)

5. Share Your Insights, Expertise, and Knowledge
ACRL offers many venues for presentations.  Submit a proposal for a panel session, poster session, roundtable discussion, Cyber Zed Shed presentation, preconference, or workshop for ACRL 2013 (April 10-13 in Indianapolis) when the call is posted in October 2012. Consider an annual conference program proposal for the ALA Annual Conference (contact Megan Griffin at mgriffin@ala.org for more information). ACRL committees and sections also sponsor research forums and poster sessions at the ALA Midwinter Meeting and Annual Conference.

6. Volunteer
Build important relationships by volunteering to serve on a committee. ACRL has more than 300 committees that work virtually (and face-to-face) to advance the ACRL Plan for Excellence and the profession.

7. Seek Advice from Colleagues
ACRL offers more than 28 email discussion lists giving you access to hundreds of committed peers who are willing to share their experience and knowledge. Subscribe today and get immediate help from colleagues in your specialty.  Use the  ALA Connect  “Member Search” to locate ACRL members in your library, your city, your state, or your specialty.

8. Like, Join, and Follow
ACRL (and ALA JobList) are alive and well on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. If you’d like to be featured as the ACRL Member of the Week, email ACRL Associate Director Mary Jane Petrowski at mpetrowski@ala.org.

9. Teach Virtually
Lead the profession by developing and delivering online courses or webcasts for ACRL.For more information, contact Margot Conahan (mconahan@ala.org).

10. Shine a Light
Nominate yourself or a deserving colleague for an ACRL award. ACRL’s prestigious awards program annually honors the brightest stars of academic and research librarianship with awards for contributions and achievement. ACRL awards enhance professional growth, set benchmarks for achievement and strengthen ACRL’s image in the eyes of employers, leaders, and the higher education community. Check the “Awards and Scholarships” section of the ACRL web site for application and nomination procedures.

11. Become a Friend
Become a Friend of ACRL. Friends of ACRL enable the association to make a stronger commitment to the future of our profession. Donations provide scholarships, seed innovative new programs, support exemplary programs and best practices, and advance the ACRL Plan for Excellence. Friends of ACRL receive premier seats at Conference events and recognition on the Web site and in the ACRL Annual Report.  Become a Friend of ACRL today.

12. Be Mentored (or Mentor)
MentorConnect is an informal mentoring network within ALA Connect that allows all ALA members to participate. The only requirement is that you actively choose to join the network in order to begin seeking a mentor (or serving as a mentor). Having effective mentors is important for your professional and personal growth. MentorConnect can help you get the most from this important relationship.