This topic reminds me of moving to the area to work at Duke. I decided to get involved in several local organizations quickly, and it turned out to be a great way to meet people right off the bat. Although I’m no longer actively involved with those particular groups, I still keep in touch with several people from those early days in the area. One of the people I met through the area Junior League chapter was the one who told me about the local Galloway training program, which we both joined that year. Since then, I’ve run or walked three half marathons and one full marathon, and it’s thanks in part to the face-to-face networking and club involvement I started when I moved here.
At my first library job, the library paid for everyone’s North Carolina Library Association (NCLA)memberships, for support staff as well as professional librarians. Now I really appreciate that professional development benefit! I attended a couple of NCLA conferences, and enjoyed them a lot.
I’ve been a member of the American Library Association (ALA) for a couple of years now, but haven’t done anything with it, other than reading the monthly magazine on occasion. Now that I’m on the verge of becoming a library student, I’m looking forward to paying student dues for both ALA and NCLA. My library school at NC Central University has a student chapter of ALA, so I hope I can get involved in it, class schedule permitting. Meanwhile, I plan to stay on the lookout for ALA or NCLA committees that interest me, though I don’t want to get too over-extended.
While this cpd23 post is about professional organization involvement, I’ll put in a plug for workplace committee involvement too. I’ve been on several committees at the library where I work, and they’ve been a really good way to get involved at the local level. It’s also been a nice way to meet and catch up with people from across the library system. Since my library department works from a remote location now, getting involved in library committees is both a great connector and an inconvenience, since getting to and from meetings takes more time from our location. But for committees that interest me, it’s definitely worth the effort!
The more professional development opportunities I learn about, the more excited I get about library school and the future! I have to remember, though, that I can’t sign up for everything all at one time!