ALA Presidential Candidate Kenton Oliver responds to Genevieve Grove’s question on why librarians should join ALA. More ALA videos at alfocus.ala.org.
Question: Question: Genevieve Grove: Hi, my name is Genevieve Grove. And Im a student at Dominican University. I am an ALA member, but the question I get a lot from my friends at school is: Why should I become a member and what are the benefits for me? So, if you could speak about that, Id appreciate it. Thank you.
Kent Oliver: Hi, Genevieve. This is Kent Oliver, your candidate for ALA president. And Im responding to your YouTube question on the advantages, or why we should be ALA members.
I guess one of the things I immediately thought about was the fact that we all have a set of shared core values. And those are obviously things weve developed in the association, such as access, social responsibility, and intellectual freedom. And those are the things that really bring us together.
ALA has so many benefits that its hard to know where to start. I think there are the real tangible ones we can think of, such as insurance benefits, and publications, and awards, and those sorts of things. But I think its maybe some of the larger ones that we really get a great value from that its hard to measure; and that includes the advocacy initiatives that the association performs for us, and also the support for intellectual freedom. Defending intellectual freedom is something Ive been involved with for a number of years with ALA. And its something that we all need, regardless of what type of library we work in.
The networking component is probably the thing that we enjoy that we do and it has so many benefits for us that we cant really quantify it. And Ill give you a great example of it: one of the things youll find through your career is just the fact that the people you meet through the association will be the people that youll work with as you find different jobs in different libraries and move up the career ladder.
Id highly recommend that you go on the ALA website and look under member benefits and all the different things that are available to you because membership certainly does pay. And ALA is like anything else you do in life: you get out of it what you put into it. So, join us with ALA.