Core: Leadership, Infrastructure, Futures is a community of library workers in the core functions of leadership and management, metadata and collections, and technology. Our community focuses on cultivating and celebrating the collective expertise of library workers through community building, advocacy, and learning.
Core is your home within ALA if you work in:
- Buildings & Operations
- Collection Development
- Digital Libraries
- Electronic Resources
At some phases of your career, you will need Core. At other phases, Core will need you.
For and by members, Core delivers mentoring, learning, networking, and leadership opportunities across library types and experience levels. We support each other through collective challenges by building and sustaining a more equitable and accessible future, one Core member at a time.
We also offer a special membership benefit for LIS students that lets you take any of our live webinars for free.
Join today to connect with peers and colleagues who can help you in your job and career.
Have questions or want to talk through taking your next step? Get personalized guidance to help you get started.
Core has six sections that are free for members to join. Sections are networks that focus on specific areas of library work and let members tailor their experience to their areas of interest. You can join as many sections as you like.
- Access & Equity
- Buildings & Operations
- Leadership & Management
- Metadata & Collections
Interest Groups (IGs) offer Core members outstanding networking, informational, and problem-solving opportunities. They provide a great way to begin your career of service to the division in an informal way without a heavy commitment. They also offer the library community a chance to come together to discuss hot topics of specific relevance and address pressing issues. Members can join as many interest groups as they like at no additional cost. Browse through the extensive list of interest groups available to you.
Participating on a committee is a great way to develop new skills, learn from your peers, help advance the mission of Core, and accomplish concrete goals. We need your talents! The volunteer form is open year-round to help fill any vacancies. The appointment process starts in February and finishes in April so that new committee members can begin on July 1.
Core appoints representatives to various outside organizations to support the standards and practices of all areas of technical services and technology.
Watch our So You're New Here? Getting Started with Core orientation and view the slides (pdf). It will help you understand how we're set up so you can more easily find your communities.
Then check out our Find Your Core Involvatron 3000 which will help you find ways to meet colleagues, participate in topical discussions, develop your career, and give back to the profession. Search by keyword, filter by topic, or narrow the list by type of activity.
Share Your Expertise
- Teach a webinar, classroom, or online course;
- Facilitate an e-Forum;
- Write a guest post or become a regular contributor to our Core News site;
- Present a program at the ALA Annual Conference (applications open in July each year and close in September);
- Be a mentor;
- Submit an article to one of our peer-reviewed journals (published quarterly);
- Present a program at our annual professional conferences, Core Forum (even years) and The Core Exchange (odd years);
- Volunteer to be on our popular Top Technology Trends panel discussion (applications open in September and January);
- Contribute to publication ideas with the editors of Core publications.
Need some help getting started? Contact us, and we'll provide personalized next steps.
- Regular member: $70
- International member: $40
- Non-salaried member: $40 (furloughed, unemployed, retired, or earning less than $30K per year)
- Support Staff: $40
- Student member: $30 (plus student members of Core receive free registration for all webinars)
- Organizational member: $200 (does not include personal membership benefits for organization’s staff)
Please note: You must be a member of the American Library Association (ALA) to join Core. Membership rates listed above do not include the price of ALA membership.
Learn more about ALA dues or contact ALA Member and Customer Services at 1-800-545-2433. Staff will answer your questions and help you select the right membership type to get started. You can then join any of Core sections or interest groups (or all of them) for free.
There are two ways you can join Core:
- Join online.
- Call the ALA Member and Customer Services team at 1-800-545-2433.
If you have questions regarding membership dues or becoming a member, please contact the ALA Member and Customer Services team at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-800-545-2433. Staff are available to assist you Monday–Friday, 8:30am – 4:30pm Central Time.