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Information Studies Students -- Consider a Professional Association!

As an Information Studies student, you receive many email messages about a number of professional organizations and their various divisions. You might be confused as to what they are all about and why you should join them. Once you graduate and find work, belonging to a professional organization is the best way to keep up with the latest changes in any profession including librarianship.

Participating in a national association such as the American Library Association, reading their publications and attending their conferences keeps you informed of the latest changes in technologies and ideologies. Joining a state association such as the New York Library Association allows you to keep informed of your state government’s support (or lack of thereof) for the local public and school libraries.

You may wish to join one or more sections, divisions or roundtabies within each association, such as those for catalogers, science librarians, or bibliographic instruction librarians. This allows you to meet and learn from your fellow librarians in the same or similar specialized fields.

Here is a list of some of library associations:


The following are local Capital District library associations:

There are even a few student groups on campus:

There is even a social and networking librarian’s group here in the Capital District:

And if you like to travel, there is even an international association:
  • IFLA - International Federation of Library Associations


  • The American Library Association or ALA is a very important association to join if you work in any library setting. This national group produces many useful publications for librarians such as the journals Booklist (containing recommended-only reviews of books, audio books, reference sources, video, and DVD titles) to Choice (containing reviews for collection development and scholarly research).

    Probably the biggest reason to join as a student is because student fees are much cheaper than once you are out working in the field and have to pay regular fees. While some employers will pay for your association fees, others won’t.

    There are a great number of library associations out there. If you are interested in learning about others, check out this link: http://slisweb.sjsu.edu/resources/orgs.htm