We are often asked why it is important to join professional organizations. For AzLA, it is because membership:
- supports professional development through an annual statewide conference and regional forums
- advocates at the state and local level with professional lobbyists
- awards excellence in the profession with scholarships
- offers the opportunity to serve on committees, round tables, and special divisions
- educates communities on libraries and the value they serve
- boosts networking opportunities throughout the state
- presents educational opportunities, at a discounted rate, for the library community
…and so much more!
These are all excellent reasons to join professional organizations. However, I think President Dan Stanton had the right idea in naming the annual conference this year – Making Connections. For me, that is what AzLA and professional organizations are about: connecting with colleagues, connecting with ideas, connecting with career opportunities, and connecting with your passion.
The upcoming annual conference is a great time to introduce people to the wonderful opportunities afforded by membership in AzLA. If each member reaches out to one other person, our membership will be strengthened and our opportunities to connect multiplied! So share your AzLA story with someone who has not joined the organization. You might even think about paying for the first-year membership of someone you are mentoring or with whom you have connected.
For me, joining AzLA and attending my first conference opened my eyes to the amazing individuals we have working in this profession in our state. Librarians are a special group of people who understand the needs of the communities they serve and bring passion and commitment that is contagious. I have made tremendous, lifelong friends through the AzLA network and because of my involvement with AzLA, I have also been involved with MPLA and ALA. All of these connections have helped shape my career path, and for that I will be ever grateful!
Encourage a colleague to take advantage of these opportunities by joining AzLA today!