Where connections flourish: ACRL benefits you

Mary Jane Petrowski

ACRL strives to position academic and research libraries and librarians as indispensable to advancing learning and scholarship. We know ACRL members have a strong desire to learn, succeed, and contribute, so we are dedicated helping you become flexible, dynamic, and entrepreneurial leaders in your institutions and scholarly communities.

Each year we interview 52 ACRL members to discover what they value about the profession and the association. Need a boost? Start your week by visiting the ACRL Insider blog (http://www.acrl.ala.org/acrlinsider/archives/category/member-of-the-week) for a dose of sunshine and fresh perspective on the value of academic and research librarianship and ACRL membership.

Essential professional network: Come together

ACRL brings more than 12,500 talented and highly motivated members together by providing strategic connections to colleagues, opportunities, and resources. “Nowhere but ACRL will you find so many colleagues so ready to help on so many issues. ACRL is about the people.”

As one member stated, “ACRL was, and, still is, among the best possible choices for me to grow professionally, to mentor, and be mentored.”

Professional development: Boosting your value

According to a recent membership survey, the most valued personal benefit is learning. As engaged professionals, ACRL members develop through continuing education, opportunities to network, and access to current knowledge and research. ACRL provides opportunities to advance through research, publication, teaching, and service. Members value the growth and leadership opportunities provided by ACRL. Our publications, including C&RL News, C&RL, RBM, Choice, books, standards, and blogs, allow members to keep up with (and advance) the field. Our governance structure provides opportunities to lead, create, and shape the profession.

Through professional development programs, conferences, publications, e-learning, discussion lists, and committee service, ACRL provides a supportive infrastructure for each member to achieve a high level of continuous learning and achievement: “ACRL makes me think critically and creatively about contributions I can make to the field.”

But wait—there’s more! ACRL is dedicated to developing members who are recognized as leaders in their institutions and in scholarly communities. ACRL members leverage their new connections and learning opportunities to enhance and support the services and collections for which they are responsible. Institutional enhancement represents the ultimate return on your membership investment: “ACRL membership is not just for you but for your library.”

Professional common ground: Perfect for networking

Members interact with colleagues who share their interests and passions, virtually or face to face. ACRL brings all members into the wider community of academic librarianship through communities of practice, discussion lists, biennial conferences, and publications. The sharing of experience and expertise among members creates an inclusive, vital, and supportive channel that facilitates networking and collaboration.

“I joined ACRL due to my interest in academic librarianship. However, I stay a current member due to the personal and professional connections I have made through the association.”

Enhancing theory (and practice)

Members look to ACRL to keep them informed of issues, trends, and effective practices. ACRL guidelines, standards, research, statistics, and toolkits keep members in the know. Members also share information via ACRL discussion lists, blogs, wikis, podcasts, online communities, and publications.

As one member noted, “ACRL offered those of us who were new to librarianship a wide variety of resources on which to lean as we made our way in this demanding profession.”

ACRL: Strengthening the profession

ACRL membership demonstrates solidarity and support for the profession, including the work ACRL does to develop standards and guidelines for the profession. As a member, you support the voice of academic and research librarians in higher education as well as in the library community. Increase your effectiveness, value, and connection to the profession through ACRL. We will help you connect, contribute, and keep current.

Membership application forms are available online at www.acrl.org. Join today and become part of a “life-changing organization,” a wonderful community of academic and research librarians who are dedicated to the profession and willing to share their wisdom and experience.

Why “really smart librarians” belong to ACRL

“My reason for joining ACRL has stayed my reason for continuing to be a member of ACRL: opportunity. The opportunity to work on projects that build my professional skill set. The opportunity to stay not only informed about, but also involved in, emerging professional trends.”— Randy Hensley, head of instruction, Baruch College

“I joined ACRL as much to show my support for the organization as to gain support from the organization. ACRL is clearly an organization of deep-thinking, committed people who understand the issues that are unique to academic libraries.”—Beth Evans, associate professor, Brooklyn College

“My interest in giving back to the profession and sharing some of my experiences with newer librarians, as well as continuing to learn, has kept me coming back.”—Ann Marie Casey, library director, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

“I knew almost immediately in graduate school that I wanted to be a part of an association that fosters collegiality and communication among academic librarians. ACRL is definitely that group!”—Melissa Mallon, reference and information services, Wichita State University

“I am a solo librarian at a small institution, so ACRL is a lifeline that connects me to the library world. Through the people I meet, the articles I read, and the conferences I attend, I am able to keep up with new trends and developments and get ideas that I can implement in my library.”—Lindsay Harmon, librarian, American Academy of Art

“When I was a brand new academic librarian, I joined because I figured it would look good on my C.V.! But after I started actually doing librarianship, I realized that ACRL is a great resource for my further growth in the field.”—Cliff Landis, Web services librarian, Georgia State University

“I wanted to get involved in the profession, meet colleagues across the country and around the world, and learn how to do my job better. And ACRL has given me all those things.”—Karen Munro, head, library and learning commons, University of Oregon

Copyright © 2011 Mary Jane Petrowski

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