We have a vested interest in your success. You are the future of the association and of what we hold most dear – libraries. - Jim Rettig, former ALA President
Student members of ALA are enrolled in MLS/MLIS, NCATE and LTA programs. They are studying to be public, academic, school and special librarians. Some are furthering their studies with post-degree certifications while others are pursuing terminal degrees like doctoral programs. All are eligible for our discounted Student membership dues and each are invited to participate fully in ALA membership during their studies. Student members, whether full- or part- time, are also given the best rates for conference registration – often at discounts as high as 75% off.
“You never know who you’ll meet at ALA, “ recalls Stefanie Warlick , 2006 MLS from UNC-Chapel Hill. “Chance encounters, like the one I had on an ALA conference shuttle bus while a student member, can lead to unexpected opportunities. For me, those opportunities included an invitation to serve on an ALA level committee and subsequent appointment as chair.” Membership in ALA is immediate access and connection with influential library professionals across the country and around the world Becoming a member and participating in the work of the association about library issues shows prospective employers that you are not only invested in your own worklife but that you also bring a wider awareness and activism for the future of libraries. “Whether it brings opportunities to share experiences with peers from across the country or build leadership skills, I’ve never doubted the connection between ALA participation and success as a professional librarian, “ adds Stefanie, who is currently Health and Human Services Librarian at James Madison University.
Opportunities for Students in Divisions and Round Tables
ALA, its divisions, and round tables have hundreds of committees and Connect communities focused on the unique interests of every type of library. Volunteer your time and talent on a committee, discussion group or task force and help set the course for libraries. You can have a positive impact on the profession - starting today. Participating as a member helps you gain valuable experience and recognition, through virtual and face-to-face participation, that will help you find your first – or next – job.
The classroom is often a theoretical environment where skills are taught for use ‘down the road’ But through membership, you can immediately put your talents to work building the future for librarians and library use. The same of ways of doing things are being challenged every day by members like yourself. Membership is a collaborative environment that crossed age, region and specialization. You can take a shortcut to having your ideas heard and insights applied to real world library issues. ALA members are like a group of consultants who can help you polish your resume, find a job, meet the right people, and so much more. Student membership puts you in touch with some of the best and brightest in the library community.
Even before you graduate, career planning is Job 1. Whether you are exploring your options in librarianship, or are already focused on your worklife goals, connecting with more experienced professionals outside the classroom is extremely valuable to your career. ALA student members are encouraged to build skills beyond the classroom that are marketable and attractive to employers. If you only use one resource of membership, it should be the premier employment and job placement resources within ALA.
Joint Memberships and Student Chapters on Campus
Joint membership with 28 state library associations is available for students who reside in or study in those states. For one price, joint members automatically receive full membership in both their state association and ALA. Many MLIS programs also have a Student Chapter of ALA to help jump start networking and professional connections on campus. "Besides the knowledge and experience attained with [student membership involvement], the best part...was interacting with all of the awesome students," says Alyssa Diekman, Vice President and President of the University of Rhode Island’s Student ALA chapter (SALA) from 2009 to 2010. "The students at the University of Rhode Island as well as other SALA chapters from across the country I met during the Student 2 Staff program are still some of my favorite people today. SALA is a great way to meet friends and create lasting relationships while in this ever growing and evolving field." Read more from Alyssa at her " Ten Reasons Why You Should Participate in Your School's Student ALA (SALA) Chapter" post on the AL Student Member Blog.
Benefits for Student Members
Once you join ALA, student members also receive Student AL Direct, the only e-newsletter covering job search, skills building beyond the classroom, and member-to-member networking for the library community. Student AL Direct supplements AL Direct and is sent monthly during the spring and fall semesters to all current student members of ALA.
The Student Member Wiki is a must-visit destination for all student members at any stage of your studies. Filled with tips on getting the most out of your membership, the Student Wiki helps you quickly find the resources you need to get involved with other students and established library professionals to advance your career and ideas. And since it is a wiki, it’s built not only by ALA staff and long time members, but also by students for students. Add your questions and answers today.
Resources for Student Members
New Members Round Table – the resources you need and the connections you want to get started with your ALA membership right away
Student Member Wiki – Your best resources for getting the most out of your studies and onto the fast track for your career
Student AL Direct – Don’t miss an issue of this invaluable student members only resource. Make sure your email contact information is up to date
Membership 2.0 – blogs, wikis and social networks, plus ALA on Facebook
Committee Service – the ins and outs of volunteering for an ALA, division or round table committee
Financial Support – Your guide to grants, scholarships and stipends offered by ALA units and supporting corporate members
Join ALA Today