Big Question no. 4: Library Associations

What services of library associations do you use?

What else do you wish library associations would offer?

Do you find library associations are inclusive enough of library technicians and assistants?


5 thoughts on “Big Question no. 4: Library Associations

  1. I’ve been a BCLA member for almost 3 years, as well an SLA member through work for 2 years. I use the BCLA listserv and read its newsletter, plus all the glories of LTAIG membership. 🙂
    As for SLA I use its magazine, listserv, weekly management book summaries, and Western Canada chapter events. Listservs of both organizations have been nice for jobhunting, asking/answering colleagues’ questions, and finding loving new homes for discards.

    I do wish the BCLA conference was more affordable for just taking a couple sessions, since as a corporate library tech I can’t justify the cost to my boss (and I am not a rich tech!). I’ve been finding most of the conference sessions more public- and academic-library focused.

    I would also like associations to offer more social/networking opportunities. LTAIG seems ahead of the pack on this!

    At the last LTAIG meeting I mentioned feeling techs and assistants are a little excluded in SLA, though I don’t think it’s intentional. More wording and lack of awareness than a conscious elitism.

  2. This is a great question!

    For the services – I mostly take advantage of the volunteering oppurtunities and networking. My time with BCLA and LTAIG has been a lot of fun and I have met a ton of interesting people.

    I wish that associations would leverage technology better- have recordings of meetings, be a little more transparent and inclusive, and of course, that conferences and courses were more affordable.

    I totally agree with Heather about inclusive/exclusive language with library associations – so many conference sessions and even websites seem to forget that libraries are more than just librarians! But that is something we can work on 🙂

  3. I’m a member of CLA, LAA and AAAL (Alberta Association of Academic Libraries) and a guest of the LTAIG. 🙂

    I really like reading the publications, email newsletters and postings on the listservs. I learn so much from what I read and am able to participate in. I think volunteering within the association is really beneficial for not only professional growth but also personal growth.

    I agree that associations need to be more inclusive in their language. When CLA sent out the first draft for the Future Plan, I made comments about their “Who We are” statement and requested that it be written more inclusive rather than separating out the various job titles. They listened and the second draft is inclusive. So maybe we just have to take a plunge and ask associations to be more inclusive in their wording. They may never have thought about it before. AAAL used to be called AACL (Alberta Association of College Librarians), very exclusive and now they’ve made a complete change so that all academic library workers are welcomed.

    Conferences and workshops are great opportunities for networking and social activities but the conference also needs to have a program that employers will support and affordable. If a full conference is too expensive, would the association or interest group consider having a mini-conference? A one day conference geared to Library Technicians and Assistants needs? NSALT in Nova Scotia and NLLA LTAIG (Newfoundland and Labrador Library Association) have them and they are very successful. I’ve had the pleasure of being at both and they both had great sessions and great networking opportunities.

  4. I am in the middle of exploring library associations as part of an activity for one of my courses. Since I am still at the beginning stages of my future career as a library technician, the plentiful information that is out there can be a bit overwhelming at times, especially since a lot of it appears to be geared toward librarians. I would very much welcome the opportunity of a one day conference focused on the needs and interests of fledgling and established library technicians and assistants, as Karen suggested. What a wonderful idea! Ideally BCLA would offer such a conference. This would also be a great way for students in LibTech programs to break into the profession.

  5. I very much enjoy being on the BCLA liat serv as it keeps me up to date with happening in the library world, possible new career opportunties, and helps to further my reader’s advisory capabilities. I also love looking at the YAACS online newsletter when time permits. I also look forward to BCLA every year but sadly wan unable to attend Victoria this year. I am very haapy to work for a library system (FVRL) that pays for this membership. I am hoping that BCLA will be a little more inconclusive for library technicians (of which I am one), and hope the world in general will soon recognize the wonderful knowledge, ideas, and enthusiasm we love to share.

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