Meet & Greet and ALA New Member Opportunities

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Welcome, new and returning classmates! Learn more about all the iSchool Student Groups at the Meet & Greet on February 3, 2022 at 6:30pm PST. Register here.

Missed the Spring Meet & Greet? Check out the recording on YouTube.

ALA New Member Opportunities

First year students have the opportunity to join the American Library Association (ALA) through enrollment in INFO 200. After one year, you have the option to continue your membership at the student rate. If, like me, you postponed involvement beyond receiving emails during your first semester, here is some information to get you started.

ALA is now offering New Members Social & Orientation Zoom sessions hosted by the Membership Committee. If you missed the January session on January 11th and are ready to learn more about your ALA membership, then I’d recommend the next session on April 13th. Click here for the schedule to the New Members Social & Orientation Sessions.

To recap, the January session covered resources and opportunities for members. Speakers from the New Member Round Table (NMRT) discussed their webinars, mentorship program, EndNotes (a peer reviewed, scholarly journal available to students and early-career librarians seeking publication), and their conference mentor-buddy program. The conference mentor-buddy connects newbies, like us students, with an experienced conference attendee at the ALA annual conference to help guide and show us the ropes. The 2022 ALA Annual Conference will be in-person in Washington, DC.

Breakout rooms were available for smaller group discussion on “Early Career” and “Divisions and Round Tables.” I joined the Early Career discussion, where we explored internship suggestions and the benefits of ALA membership for students. One interesting anecdote involved a member who had planned their whole career in one state but found a better opportunity in another state through their involvement with the ALA. Connecting with both local/regional organizations and national organizations opens up opportunities for advancement and networking. Local organizations (think: county) may lack the bandwidth of expertise that statewide or national organizations can offer, especially if you have a specialization.

Also, discussion during the January session were scholarship opportunities. Importantly, most of the scholarships are only available to students in their first year (unit completion requirement of no more than 12 units by deadline). If you missed our blog post on scholarships tips and tricks be sure to check that out here.

If you have not already visited the ALA New Member Center, be sure to check it out for resources and for ways to get more involved. It is a great one-stop resource for much of what ALA has to offer as this one page links and summarizes some of the key benefits of your ALA membership, such as the basics of ALA Connect, AL Direct and the American Libraries magazine, various discounts and offers with companies, and career opportunities from professional development and education programs to JobLIST and a resume review service.

Last but not least, ALA recently launched Students of ALA, a forum connecting MLIS student members from around the nation. The forums ranged from introductions to advice on mentorships all forming within a week of launching. If you join the conversation there feel free to say hello. There are several iSchool Spartans already there engaging in conversation.