Great Ways to Get Involved in ALA

ALA is an incredibly rich and varied organization and offers something for everyone, whether you want to get involved with colleagues who work in the same kind of library, expand your horizons by attending conferences or continuing education events, network with members who share your interests, find a forum to discuss key issues, work on specific projects, or support libraries and librarians.

Here are some key ways you can get more involved with the Association.

Read AL Direct

AL Direct is our weekly email newsletter, full of breaking news and feature stories on issues affecting every type of library. Don’t miss out on this valuable news and information service from American Libraries . Make sure your email address is current with ALA by logging to “My ALA” and update your contact information today.

Join the ALA community in ALA Connect

—ALA Connect is a centralized space where official ALA “groups” can work together online and where any member can create a new “communities” (unofficial ALA groups).  ALA Connect provides  a number of tools for  working together-- posts, online documents,  a calendar, polls, a chat room, a discussion board, and images (logos, pictures, etc.).  All official ALA organizations and active committees have a page in ALA Connect.  To visit yours go to http://connect.ala.org/ and log in with your ALA website username and password.

Talk with Colleagues

—Over 300 ALA email discussion lists cover almost every conceivable topic in library work. Join an asynchronous colloquy with some of the most interesting people you’d ever want to meet: your fellow members. Or comment on blog posts or add your expertise to our wikis. Visit the Read Write Connect wiki for details.

Build Your Skills

—ALA’s divisions and other units offer continuing education opportunities in many forms—in person at conferences and regional institutes or on your own schedule through distance options.  Review the offerings on our Ongoing Professional Development page to locate the courses you need to build your library and general skills.  Meet your personal learning requirements at affordable member rates.

Take Action

—Use our online Legislative Action Center as your direct link to Congress, the executive, state legislators, and the media about issues affecting libraries. Make your voice heard today.

Present Your Ideas

—Submit an idea for a program, paper, panel discussion, table talk or poster session at an ALA or divisional national conference or symposium. There is always a lot to learn when you attend conference. Why not also share your own experience. Contact the division, round table or committee whose work interests you to get started.

Run for Office or Council

—Consider this your invitation to help set the course of the association. Contact the chair of the ALA Nominating Committee and express your interest in being nominated. Contact your chapter or division about running for a leadership post. Contact the Council Secretariat and ask how to run as a petition candidate for Council.

Join a Committee

—Decisions are made by the people who show up. There are hundreds of committees in ALA, each with specific functions, goals, and interests. Browse through this website for groups you’d like to work with, then contact the chair of the committee and ask how to get involved. At an ALA conference, stop by a committee meeting and listen to what’s going on. To become a member of a committee, it helps to express your interest in serving on a committee by filling out the online volunteer form.

Submit a Resolution

—This is direct democracy in action. Make your voice heard; express a concern; ask ALA to take a stand. Draft a formal resolution and present it at a Membership Meeting or ask an ALA councilor to present it to Council. Contact the chair of the ALA Resolutions Committee or the Council Secretariat at ALA Headquarters for details, or stop by the Resolutions Table in the ALA office area at a Midwinter Meeting or Annual Conference. See Resolution Guidelines for information on preparing and submitting resolutions.