Strategic. Scholarly. Supportive.: 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 you institutions and scholarly communities.

Each year we interview fifty-two ACRL members to discover what they value about the profession and the association. Start your week by visiting the ACRL Insider blog ( for a dose of sunshine and fresh perspective on the value of academic and research librarianship and ACRL membership.

The network that works

Almost 12,000 academic and research librarians are proud to call ACRL home. ACRL brings 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, “The ACRL community is innovative and collegial and I value the relationships that I have formed over the years.”

ACRL is a leader in connecting academic and research librarians 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.

“Living and working abroad as a new librarian, it was easy to start feeling isolated from North American librarianship, but I found that ACRL was my best resource to remain involved,” stated one member. “In 2009, I attended the Immersion Program, and later published an article with a colleague in C&RL News. Opportunities like these allowed me to maintain a connection to librarians and information professionals outside of Egypt, and to the field in general.”

Boosting your value

According to a recent membership survey, ACRL is seen as a leading provider of professional development for academic and research librarians, helping to increase their competence and stay current. 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. “I really value the opportunities for distance learning through Webcasts, being in a pretty geographically isolated academic community,” said one of our members.

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, 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. In short, “ACRL makes me think critically and creatively about contributions I can make to the field.”

ACRL is also 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.”

Enhancing theory (and practice)

Members look to ACRL to keep them informed of issues, trends, and effective practices. ACRL is a leading publisher of research and practice that advances the field including guidelines, standards, research, statistics, and toolkits.

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: leading the profession

ACRL membership demonstrates solidarity and support for the profession including the work ACRL does to help librarians demonstrate the value of academic and research libraries. “ACRL considers the issues that are common to all academic libraries, and brings them to the attention of people in higher education who may not be thinking about their libraries,” a survey respondent noted. “I appreciate having an organization assume that responsibility.”

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. Membership application forms are available online at

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

“Thank you, ACRL, for connecting librarians, not only to one another, but to information, professional development, research, advocacy, news, and all of the good stuff that arrives in our feeds and in boxes.”—Amy Barlow, reference and instruction librarian, Quinebaug Valley Community College

“We benefit from the programs and access to colleagues that ACRL provides, and by participating in ACRL, we get the chance to influence the direction of the profession.”—Carla Stoffle, Dean of University Libraries, University of Arizona -Tucson

“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

Copyright © 2012 Mary Jane Petrowski

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