Library Support Staff are a vital part of the everyday mission of the library and are integral to ALA’s membership.
Library workers at all levels participate in serving the common good, providing access to information and services in their community. ALA has worked for many years to build a home for support staff, offering professional development tools and resources for job growth through our Library Support Staff Interests Round Table ( LSSIRT) and Library Support Staff Certification Program. ALA has grown in its commitment to support and paraprofessional staff.
There is a place for everyone at ALA. Paraprofessionals, support staff, aides, clerks, anyone with any title; all are welcome to join. The ALA Handbook’s definitions, below, will help you help new members decide which type of ALA membership is right for them:
Regular Members - includes librarians, as well as others employed in library and information services or related activities in positions that: (a) require a masters degree; or (b) require a state level certification; or (c) are managerial.
Library Support Staff Members – includes others employed in library and information services or related activities.
Support Staff members, like Regular members, receive full rights, privileges and benefits of ALA Membership, including discounts on conference attendance fees, products from ALA Graphics and Editions, the opportunity to work on ALA committees, and voting rights in ALA elections and Membership meetings. Support Staff members are eligible for membership in any of ALA’s Divisions and Round Tables. Numerous committees, working groups, and task forces are recruiting support staff members to serve. You can lend your experiences to this important work for libraries.
Joint Memberships for Support Staff and State Chapters
Eight state library associations offer joint memberships for Support and Paraprofessional staff with ALA and LSSIRT. For one low price, joint members automatically receive full membership in both their state association and ALA and LSSIRT. Many chapters have a Support Staff interest group to help jump start networking and professional connections around the state.
Library Support Staff Interests Round Table - LSSIRT
While support staff members are eligible to join any ALA division or round table, the Library Support Staff Interests Round Table ( LSSIRT) may be particularly relevant to you. LSSIRT is a growing community of academic and public library workers exploring ways to improve the visibility and vitality of non-MLS career paths while creating a place t o explore worklife interests and professional development. LSSIRT membership is in addition to ALA membership and includes the quarterly LSSIRT Newsletter.
Support and Paraprofessional Staff are gaining new visibility within the library community and the Association. As a member, you are a part of setting the course for libraries. If the role of support staff in libraries and developing new career paths in library work is important to you, joining ALA will help you make a difference. Add your voice to the discussion and help ensure that libraries are well staffed, well funded, and available to a changing community well into the future through membership.