The Value of Belonging to ALA

What has the ALA Accomplished Recently to Help its Members?

  1. Expanded easily accessed online CE and professional development in various formats, including workshops, e-courses, webinars, the virtual annual conference, and more, across a wide range of topics and for all types of libraries – with many offered free or at reduced rates for members. More members will gain greater access to a wider variety of programs, information and education.

  2. Continued concrete support of libraries through resources such as ALA’s advocacy tutorial webinars and the “Tough Economy Toolkit” that helps our members confront budget issues and demonstrate the value of their libraries to their community. Continuing the @your library® campaign to promote the use and awareness of public, school and academic libraries. Through ongoing advertising, Public Service Announcements and promotional events, the @your library campaign affirms that libraries are at the forefront of the information age; that they are places of opportunity, education, self-help and lifelong learning; and that libraries bring information resources and services to every community. This includes continuing its strong stand against the privatization of libraries.

  3. Provided more opportunities for peer-to-peer dialogue at conferences and online. Examples include the Library Unconference, Library Camp, afternoons of facilitated conversation on community engagement and transforming libraries, as well as the Virtual Membership Meeting, which allows members to present resolutions and memorials during an online meeting open to all members.

  4. Leads the way in moving libraries into the digital realm. This includes ongoing work with publishers to ensure that digital/e-books — and related standards and practices—  are a vital part of library services ALA playing a major role in the launch of Resource Description and Access (RDA), a global international standard accessed only from ALA Digital Reference, set to have a significant impact on cataloging, bringing it into the global digital realm.

  5. Grew the Spectrum scholarship program raising more than $1 million in funds to address the critical need for the diverse national and global community. 

  6. Expanded member discount programs on auto and homeowners insurance, shipping services, car rentals, office supplies, special access to low-interest credit cards, and other useful products and services. ALA staff will continue to work with the ALA Membership Committee to identify additional discount and value-added programs.

Why Join/Renew?

There are hundreds of reasons to join or renew your membership in the American Library Association,. Members tell us they include: 

Key Reasons to Join/Renew ALA

  1. Legislative Advocacy 
    ALA works to increase federal funding for libraries and to promote state and federal legislation to benefit libraries library funding, and library community users.
  2. Accreditation
    ALA offers an accreditation program for graduate programs in library and information studies, certifying  they meet approved quality standards..
  3. Continuing Education 
    ALA provides continuing education in a variety of formats and venues, including conferences, workshops, institutes, teleconferences and web courses.
  4. Intellectual Freedom
    ALA promotes and defends intellectual freedom in libraries at the local, state, and federal levels.
  5. Standards 
    ALA develops standards and guidelines designed to improve library service.
  6. Website
    ALA’s website provides ready access to ALA news, information, and tools and services.
  7. Networking
    ALA provides opportunities for members  to interact face-to-face or electronically to share knowledge and best practices to advance the profession.
  8. Divisions and Round Tables 
    ALA’s 11 divisions and 20 round tables focus on specific types of libraries and specific activities, providing members with tailored information and services. 
  9. Public Awareness and Media Relations 
    ALA works to increase the visibility of libraries, library workers, and library issues. ALA's ongoing public awareness campaign  communicates the value of libraries and library staff and provides tools and materials needed to promote your library’s message to your locally community and nationally.
  10. Policy Analysis  
    ALA analyzes government policy in areas such as copyright and supports legislation promoting access to information. 

More Resources to Learn about ALA

Why ALA?
Who is ALA?
What ALA Does
How Do I Get Involved?
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