ALA Presidential Candidate Roberta Stevens responds to Genevieve Grove’s question on why librarians should join ALA. More ALA videos at alfocus.ala.org.
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.
Roberta Stevens: Hi, Genevieve Grove of Dominican University. Roberta Stevens here: candidate for ALA president and staff member of the Library of Congress. Im going to address your question from fellow students: Why should I become and ALA member and what are the benefits for me?
Well, Im going to break this down to a couple pieces, but lets start off with the perks. There are some great perks: you can get health and life insurance as an ALA member; you can get a lower interest rate on a credit card; and you can get a personal line of credit thats awfully nice.
As a student, you can apply for scholarships, grants, and stipends. In addition, there is a student version of AL Direct an incredibly helpful electronic source of whats happening in the field. Theres also a student member wiki group, and that can help you to get some tips on how to make the most use of your membership; Id encourage them to use it.
But lets talk about the real reasons for being a member of ALA. You are a part of a national community and you are simultaneously connecting with lots of people throughout the country. Youre going to get advice and youre going to get support. Youre going to find out whats happening in the profession. Youre going to get information and skills that you can use on the job; these are skills that can help you to get promotions. And, youre going to be able to participate as actively as you would like. And there are lots more electronic opportunities to do so, and those will only grow. Keep an eye out for ALA Connect: its really going to be a tremendous resource for our members.
And, finally, you are going to meet some of the smartest, and most dedicated people in this country. So, take advantage of that membership, both as a student, and after youve graduated thats what I tell them. Because you are going to get every bit of your moneys worth out of it. Thanks for the question.