Members Share How They Engage with ALA

Members Say it Best. 

Members share how ALA supports them now — developing skills and advancing in their profession, and in using those skills to change the world for the better through libraries.

Connections and Networking emerging leaders 1

"I find enormous value in ALA membership thanks to the connection it provides to an incredible network of colleagues.  In our hectic work lives, it’s sometimes too easy to look no further than the walls of our own libraries.  Knowing so many other ALA members means being able to reach out, ask questions, learn from their experiences, and share my own.  Through the conversations we have within the association, I’ve managed to grow immeasurably as a librarian."

– Peter Hepburn, Head Librarian, College of the Canyons

"ALA has helped me be more connected with other librarians and libraries. As an academic librarian, we sometimes are sheltered in similar libraries. However, because of ALA, I have met some wonderful public and school librarians, which has led me to feel more connected to other types of libraries as well as recognize issues that affect libraries of all types."

– Jenny Emanuel, Digital Services & Reference Librarian, University of Illinois – Urbana Champaign

Professional Involvement emerging leaders 2

"ALA allows many opportunities for me to get involved and to become more active in the profession. I am able to assume many leadership positions and to make a difference in librarianship. As library staff, I see ALA helping me to network with colleagues all over the world, to grow in my professional career, to advance in leadership position, and to development many wonderful friendships."

– Dora Ho, Young Adult Librarian, Los Angeles Public Library – North Hollywood Regional Branch 

Professional Development emerging leaders 3

"No matter how tight the budget is, it’s a huge mistake for any organization to stop training completely. As the economy ebbs and flows it is crucial that libraries and our staff learn to go with that flow. Only through continuous learning can we keep our workforce’s skills up to date and prepare our employees for the changes that will no doubt take place in organizations."

– Lori Reed, Learning & Development Coordinator, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library

Making a Difference for Libraries emerging leaders 4

"I have been interested in intellectual freedom issues since grad school. Through ALA membership I've been part of groups like the Intellectual Freedom Committee and the Intellectual Freedom Round Table that helped me get involved quickly and contribute in a significant way to a cause I believe in.

"I'd encourage every member to take advantage of the rich ALA resources, to get involved and have your ideas heard, and to work together on the issues at the heart of our profession."

– Martin Garnar, Reference Services Librarian, Regis University

Staying Current emerging leaders 5

"I look forward to receiving the latest issue of my professional journals because I know there is likely to be an author who has been faced with the same problems that I have. That author usually has some solution to offer that I may be able to use or that may spark a solution or idea in my mind."

–  Dee Gwaltney, Library Media Specialist, Lee M. Thurston High School, Redford, Michigan



Sharing Enthusiasm

What do librarians do?


From answering reference questions to planning programs, working with 3D printers to dancing with Stormtroopers, librarians have their fingers in a lot of pies. American Libraries magazine recently asked librarians "What do you do at your library?" and got some fabulous answers!

Connect with Other Members via ALA Connect

  • Catch up with the activities of your existing membership groups.
  • Join informal communities.
  • Search for members on ALA Connect, using Advanced Search in the upper right.

Learn more:

Join Us (link icon) Engage with ALA button Contact ALA