But then I found out that not very many of the people I recommended are WLA members--so they couldn't run. I'm sometimes shy about urging people to join things, but it occurred to me that it might be useful for me to give you a list of reasons I am a member of WLA (and YSS).
- The Wisconsin Library Association is responsible for creating 2 great conferences that are relevant for me as a public librarian. Lots of chances to get inspired, commiserate, learn new things, make connections...and WLA provides the resources, planning and people-power that go into these conferences. They wouldn't happen without members.
- The Wisconsin Library Association helps people in our profession organize to advocate for libraries. I like supporting an organization that helps promote libraries to the public and lawmakers alike.
- I care a lot about youth services in libraries. Being a member of the Youth Services Section assures that this area of service continues to be a priority for my state organization.
- The Youth Services Section has a great blog, a book award, and lots of wonderful people to get to know. The section is working on creating more opportunities to get involved, and it can be very rejuvenating to make connections with folks from a broader arena.
- I like that there is a sliding scale for membership dues. If you are working for less money than you should have to, you don't have to pay as much to join!
- If you are a member for WLA, that means you are open to some great opportunities. There are some lucrative and prestigious awards and scholarships that you can only receive if you are a member. Want to have your voice heard about what books should be distinguished, what kind of programs should be offered at conferences, what direction our legislative agenda should go? You can only be a part of the committees that decide these things as a WLA member.
- WeLead is a great program that allows WLA members to apply to be paired with a mentor. You can develop a relationship with another librarian in a similar position to get more involved in the organization, develop as a librarian, and get conference fees paid for...If you have been around for a while, you can also serve as a mentor yourself, another great opportunity.
If you have any questions about WLA, how to join, how to find out more about the ways to get involved once you do join, please let me know.