ALA Members Say it Best

ALA members share the value of their membership, the work they and ALA do, and how ALA helps them be better at their jobs and helps the entire profession.

► See an ALA leader's journey within ALA and get tips and tricks on how you can be one too.

► Learn about Libraries Transform, ALA's new public awareness campaign.





I appreciate how the American Library Association opens up a world of ideas and possibilities to me that I can bring back to my hometown.  Being involved in ALA’s United for Libraries division has shown me where I can find others like me – others to ask for help and advice and inspiration. And all this became available when I joined ALA. Paula Beswick

In just over a year, my ALA membership has supported my professional studies and swiftly offered influential community leadership roles. I look forward to the enduring learning and service opportunity the organization offers. Nic Dragovic

When I received the Spectrum Scholarship, I was introduced into a wonderful network of diverse, engaged library and information science professionals. I developed a passion to encourage students, particularly from underrepresented groups, to pursue careers in this field. I stay involved in with ALA, particularly the Spectrum Scholar program, to pay forward all that I have received.Holly Smith

ALA has given me the opportunity to meet and work with leaders in the field through attendance at conference programs and service on committees. George Abbott

We share, we serve and we are there for you! Runxiao Zhu

The ALA and its numerous divisions, offices, and roundtables have been there for me with information and research about numerous ideas and issues I have encountered in my 21 years as a librarian. Ty Burns

The energy of the American Library Association is undeniable. At the end of the day, it lights a fire under me to work harder for the things that brought me to this profession in the first place. Brian Leaf

ALA Membership, to me, means meaningful relationships with like-minded professionals. Mallory Arents

Being an ALA member has given me access to the tools needed to be a successful advocate on behalf of libraries in my local community, state, and nation.  Thanks to ALA, I am empowered to educate policy-makers about why libraries matter.Jeffrey Smith

ALA is a community of persons interested and invested in the future of libraries and librarianship.  As members of the ALA community, we're able to accomplish a lot for libraries and the individuals and communities that need them most. Brian D. Hart

My participation in ALA allows me to help shape to future of our profession. As a library school student, I am the future of libraries, but I am not a library futurist. I have quickly recognized that learning extends far beyond my formal education and ALA plays an integral role in my professional development. I have found ALA to be a welcoming and encouraging community. Liz Lieutenant

We work in an international profession with a community of practice and colleagues distributed across the globe – our professional associations are a great platform to advocate, learn, explore, and maintain the principles and values of librarianship such as equal access to information, literacy, and lifelong learning for citizens everywhere.  It is important to me to be connected to my colleagues around the world - to be able to learn and share experiences, stories, and successes.  Together we are stronger.Monika Szunejko

I don't think I would have met as many amazing librarians if I hadn't gotten involved with ALA, Annie Pho

ALA is where I get to meet colleagues who are outside my normal sphere of activity. I get to work with academic librarians and catalogers whom I normally would not meet. It helps me to keep the broad view of the profession rather than the narrow view I sometimes get while focusing on my daily activities. ALA is the 'big tent,' Michael Golrick

Joining ALA was the single most important thing I did for my career. The opportunity to interact and serve with other professionals on a national level has broadened my view of librarianship and provided me with the knowledge and language to use in lobbying for the profession, Pat Scales

When I think back on the path I’ve taken to my library career, I realize that ALA has provided opportunities for support each step of the way. As a LIS student, I had the opportunity to become a Spectrum Scholar. After becoming a full-time library professional, I was selected as an Emerging Leader, and have had the opportunity to present at Annual Conference. ALA staff continue to provide invaluable support and encouragement to help me reach my goals, Tezeno Lynette Roberson

ALA isn’t just an organization- it’s a community. Every community prospers or stagnates depending on how much its constituent members invest in it. I have always seen the value of my ALA membership, and have gotten far more out of it than I have put into it as an individual, but it’s on us to make sure that these returns are true for everyone who participates in our organization. It’s not just about paying your dues, but getting involved. Share your expertise and your enthusiasm, and help us make this a community worth investing in.Tom Bruno

As an ALA Member, I am a part of an organization that supports and promotes the ideas and thoughts of library workers around the world.  My membership in ALA, has allowed me to become involved, as a member snd as a leader, in assisting the organization to be at the forefront of issues and concerns facing our profession.  ALA is important to me, because it has given me an opportunity to share, to listen, to discuss, and to work toward common goals with like-minds, with colleagues, and with constituent groups, in moving libraries and our profession forward, Miguel Magos

Through my involvement in ALA, I have had the opportunity to meet, network, and collaborate with a wide variety of students, librarians, and other library professionals, which has been an invaluable and rewarding experience,Keila DuBois

Free access to uncensored information, technology and entertainment is essential to a free society. ALA -United for Libraries leverages my advocacy for libraries at the local, state and national level.

ALA provides me with great opportunities to share ideas, ask for advice, and brainstorm with others who are also looking to share and learn new information, Dr. Mustafa Abdelwahid

While I was working I found the networking with ALA essential to my various jobs at The New York Public Library, when I retired I realized that the networking was as important as ever to maintain my skills in my profession.   I retired from my job but not from my profession. Mary Elizabeth (Ma’lis) Wendt

 Being a member of ALA and participating, online or in person, gives you a voice in our profession.  As we encounter new challenges and opportunities, ALA provides professional development, experts to ask for advice, and a forum to engage with our beautiful and diverse library community. Sarah Wright

 ALA is people - all kinds of people.   There really is something in the organization for everyone, no matter what kind of librarian you are. You can find your place in ALA, and people that will accept you both as librarian and as a human being. Kate Kosturski

My association with ALA enabled me to meet new challenges by accepting 6 different positions with new responsibilities. My connection with ALA for the past 50 years enriches my life personally and professionally.Sam Huang

Student membership and leadership in ALA has not only given me useful skills for my career but has opened my eyes to the many types of careers available through librarianship, and has made me enthusiastic to continue participating in such a dynamic organization.Faith Bradham

Working within ALA in these various roles has allowed me to connect with and learn from a diverse group of colleagues, while also providing an opportunity to contribute back to ALA and the profession. Peter Bromberg

ALA enables me to exchange ideas with so many incredible, diverse people on the cutting edge of librarianship. They inspire me, hone my opinions on topics that matter to my community, and encourage me to always dream bigger and make it happen. Audrey Barbakoff

ALA gives me the opportunity to participate in decision-making that affects librarians and libraries, and thus all people, all over the country and it provides me with resources to tackle problems, create relationships and be the most amazing librarian I can be. Sharon McKellar

No library is an island and all libraries should be connected by the people that work there. I work through ALA to reach out to library staff everywhere, share my knowledge and learn from them as well. ALA is a learning organization and you get out of it what you put into it.Richard Huffine

ALA membership and active participation in the Association is my gateway to a dynamic learning organization. It keeps me in touch with wonderful colleagues, keeps me on my game, and connects me to professional opportunities I wouldn't otherwise have. Paul Signorelli

 My ALA connections have allowed me to stay active and current in the field, and have shown me not only the many paths a librarian can follow, but also the incredible enthusiasm and innovation that ALA inspires within its members.Nora Wood

When asked to join ALA by my dean, I began to see a bigger picture and find it’s interesting to discover new methods for doing my job, even acknowledging that I can suggest easier ways for others to do the same thing. Kareen Turner

Networking with colleagues and continued education in the field is important for any profession, but for those in the Library and Information field, they're vital. Bethany Goodwin

The American Library Association is like a moving train, taking us all into the future of library services. Larry Grieco

ALA has evolved a proven system for developing library leaders so that they can equip their patrons with the resources they need to make a positive impact on society. - Ed McBride

Librarianship is a living profession. It moves, it responds and it changes. It's hard to affect change if you aren't willing to actively participate. ALA gets you in the game. - Eva Volin

The colleagues I've gotten to know through the organization have consistently given me inspiration for new ideas and the energy to make them happen. - Emily Clasper

Being a member, I have had the opportunity to engage with people who are as passionate about libraries, intellectual freedom, and literacy as I am. -Abigail Phillips

I want to stand professionally with those who preserve and promote access to the information of humanity. -Laura-Edythe Coleman

Being a member has helped me build networks of colleagues from around the world, provided forums for discussing issues and finding solutions, and allowed me to continue developing my skills and knowledge in librarianship

Library staff, friends, trustees, and foundations are an important part of how 'libraries transform!' - Susan Schmidt

I got into government information librarianship because I loved helping people find answers to interesting and important questions using challenging collections. - Sarah Erekson


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