Volume 27, Number 2, Summer 2005

Everyone Has an ASCLA Story - What's Yours?

by Ron Leonard, membership librarian at SOLINET

Think back to when you first joined ASCLA. Why did you join? Did an existing member direct you to it? Did you stumble into one of the programs and realize you had found a home, a place where the people talked about the issues of interest to you? Whatever reason, obviously by joining and remaining a member you find value in belonging to this ALA division.

Besides wanting to hear everyone’s reasons, I want to share our experiences with the wider library community. We all probably know other individuals who, if they knew more about ASCLA’s mission, responsibilities, different committees, and variety of program offerings, might be interested in joining. It is members’ stories that we need to communicate to non-members to encourage interest, and, hopefully, the desire to join ASCLA.

Here’s my story. I joined partially because I wanted to find a division of ALA that would address the needs and issues of my type of organization, a multitype library cooperative. Although I originally had the misconception that the programs would be boring, much to my delight, I found them to be informative, educational, and great networking opportunities.

Similarly, when I was invited to chair the Membership Promotion committee, I wasn’t exactly sure of what I was getting into. Having heard wives’ tales about how bureaucratic ALA can be, I hesitated at first. Again, my fears were unfounded: At the 2004 ALA Midwinter Meeting I found the committee members to be an energetic group, the directors to be easy to work with, and, most important, I realized that I can have an impact on the health and wealth of ASCLA.

Now it’s your turn. Let me hear your story. You can reach me via email.