by Mary-Michelle Moore, Head Editor, INALJ Vermont
Professional Organizations: Divisions of the ALA
This is part one of a three part series on professional organizations.
Part two will be available on June 21, and part three on June 28.
The American Library Association is the largest and most inclusive professional organization in our field and they really do have something for everybody. Each specialty of librarianship seems to have a division and lots of ways to get involved and volunteer! I’ve created a brief overview of a few of the larger ones below. This is just an overview of the few, of many, you can join!
AASL or the American Association of School Librarians is the only national professional membership organization focused on the needs of school librarians and school libraries. They have more than 7,000 members and have been around for over 60 years. In addition to meetings held at the ALA annual conference they hold their own conferences (2013 is coming up in November).
ACRL or Association of College & Research Libraries is devoted to enhancing the ability of information professional and librarians associated with higher education libraries. They have more than 12,000 members and make up nearly 20% of ALA membership. In addition to meeting at the ALA conferences they hold their own annual meetings.
The Library and Information Technology Association (LITA) is concerned with the implementation, training and interaction of technology within libraries. The provide a vast array of programming from basics for techno-beginners to expert level looks into applying technology. They maintain a strong web presence and hold an annual forum in addition to meeting at the ALA national convention.
The Public Libraries Association (PLA) has more than 9,000 members and is one of the fastest growing ALA divisions. They offer diverse programs for ALA members interested in the advocacy of public library services. In addition to meeting at ALA they hold their own annual conference.