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. Continued its leadership role in moving libraries into the digital realm. This includes ongoing work with publishers to ensure that digital/e-books – and related standards and practices – will be a viable and vital part of library services; and playing a major role in the launch of Resource Description and Access (RDA), a global-born product accessed only from ALA Digital Reference, set to have a significant impact on the area of cataloging and bringing it into the global digital era.

  5. Grew the Spectrum scholarship program to support an increase in the diversity of the library workforce to reflect an increasingly diverse national and global community. In the past two years more than $1 million in funds for Spectrum scholarships was raised. 

  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 programs.

Why Join/Renew?

There are hundreds of reasons to join or renew your membership in the American Library Association, recently more than 9,000 members told us their “Top Ten Reasons to Join ALA.” 

Top Ten Reasons to Join/Renew ALA

  1. Legislative Advocacy 
    ALA works to increase federal funding for libraries and works to promote state and federal legislation of benefit to libraries and library users.
  2. Accreditation
    ALA offers an accreditation program that provides assurance that graduate programs in library and information studies meet approved standards of quality.
  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 to interact with professional colleagues face-to-face or electronically so they can share knowledge and best practices and advance the profession.
  8. Divisions and Round Tables 
    ALA’s eleven divisions and 17 round tables focus on specific types of libraries and specific types of library activities and provide members with information and services tailored to their needs.
  9. Public Awareness and Media Relations 
    ALA works to increase the visibility of libraries, library workers and library issues. This includes an ongoing public awareness campaign that communicates the value of libraries and library staff and provides tools and materials needed to promote the library’s message on a national basis and in the local community.
  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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