Student Members

"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

ALA Student members 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 doctoral programs.  All are eligible for ALA 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 percent off.

spectrum students“You never know who you’ll meet at ALA. Chance encounters, like the one I had at 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 appointed as chair. Whether it brings opportunities to share experiences with peers from across the country or to build leadership skills, I've never doubted the connection between ALA participation and success as a professional librarian." Stefanie Warlick, Health and Human Services Librarian at James Madison University

Membership in ALA offers immediate access to and connection with influential library professionals across the country and around the world  Being a member and participating in the association's work on library issues shows prospective employers you are invested in your own work and that you are actively invested in the future of libraries. 

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Opportunities for Students in Divisions and Round Tables

ALA,  and its divisions and round tables have hundreds of committees and ALA Connect communities focused on the unique interests of all types of libraries. As a member, you gain the opportunity to volunteer your time and talent on a committee, task force, or in a discussion group and can help set the course for libraries.  You can have a positive impact on the profession—starting today.  Participating in person or virtually, lets you gain valuable experience and recognition, through virtual and face-to-face participation, which can help you find your first, next or best job.  quote about joint memberships

Membership offers you the opportunity to practice  the theories and skills learned in school to work building the future for librarians and libraries. Your fresh ideas and insights will be heard and applied to real-world library issues.  Every day, members like you are working collaboratively  with the best and brightest, challenging the status qou and helping create the future.  

Even before you graduate, career planning is your first job! Whether you are exploring your options in librarianship or already focused on your goals, connecting with more experienced professionals outside the classroom is extremely valuable to your career. ALA members are like a group of (free) consultants who can help you polish your resume, find a job, might the right people, and much more.   ALA student members are encouraged to build skills beyond the classroom that are marketable and attractive to employers. If you only use one membership resource of membership, it should be ALA's premier employment and job placement resources.

Joint Memberships and Student Chapters on Campus

  • Joint membership with your state library associations (chapters) is available for students who reside in or study in 28 participating state library associations.  For one price, joint members automatically receive full membership in both their state association and ALA. 
  • Many MLIS programs also have an ALA Student Chapter  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. The students at the University of Rhode Island as well as other SALA chapters from across the country who I met during the Student-to-StaffStaff 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."   Alyssa Diekman, former President of the University of Rhode Island’s Student ALA chapter (SALA).

Read more from Alyssa on her post on the ALA Student Member blog: "Ten Reasons Why You Should Participate in Your School's Student ALA (SALA) Chapter".

Benefits for Student Members

Once you join ALA, you receive the quarterly e-publication, Student AL Direct, the only e-newsletter covering job search, skills-building beyond the classroom, and member-to-member networking for the library community.  

The Student Member Wiki is a must-visit destination for all student members at any stage of study. 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 share ideas. And since it is a wiki, it’s collaboratively ALA staff, long-time members,and student members. Make it yours by contributing to the wiki with your questions, answers, and ideas today.

Resources for Student Members

  • ALA Student Member Portal: Student members can easily access valuable information and student resources.

  • 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


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