By Mary Kamela, University at Buffalo
As the new year approaches, many of us have begun to consider what positive changes we can make in 2023. Whether you’re a regular resolution-maker in your daily life or someone who is newly interested in setting career goals, here are a few suggestions on how you can utilize some classic resolutions to make the most of your new ALA membership.
Let’s start with a fun one – who doesn’t want to promise themself that the coming year will be full of fun trips to new locations? ALA, along with some of its 8 divisions, have options for those wanting to travel for conferences in 2023:
*LibLearnX and ARCL 2023 are both also offering a virtual attendance option; please check back later for ALA Annual and AASL 2023 to see what options are available.
Be More Social
ALA provides members many outlets for networking, connecting, and socializing. If you haven’t taken advantage of these yet, 2023 is your time!
- ALA Connect – ALA Connect is a digital space where you can ask questions, make connections, and share your experience. Take some time to browse the different communities to find ones that you find interesting and consider subscribing to digests of the groups that are most relevant to you. Log in to ALA Connect with the same credentials you use for ALA.org – it’s that easy!
- Join NMRT– New to librarianship, ALA membership, or both? The New Members Round Table is a great starting point to help you navigate ALA and connect with others who are doing the same. From there, consider joining a committee, subscribing to NMRT Notes, or following NMRT on social media.
- Volunteer for a Committee – Looking to expand your network? Want to learn more about an ALA division, section, or round table? Seek out volunteer opportunities! You may see these advertised on ALA Connect, posted on social media, or on ALA.org. Feel free to reach out to organizers for a description of duties, time commitment, and expectations before applying.
Learn a New Skill
Those looking to build their resume of skills and abilities in the new have tons of options for online professional development. Consider:
- ALA eLearning– A repository of webinars, courses, and other eLearning materials for all library professionals. Consider this a one stop shop for your training needs. You can search by category, cost, topic, ALA Division, and more!
- Library Juice Academy– Library Juice Academy is an online academy that focuses on skill-building PD and continuing education for librarians and information professionals of all kinds.
Excited about the possibilities that 2023 holds but worrying about costs? There are many money-saving and scholarship options to look out for.
- Shirley Olofson Memorial Award – This award is intended to help defray attendance costs to ALA Annual for one NMRT member. Application is open through December 16, 2022.
- NMRT Professional Development Grant– This grant helps NMRT members attend ALA Annual with a $1000 award for conference attendance-related fees. Application is open through December 28, 2022.
- ALA Scholarship Program– This program helps to fund master’s degrees in Library/Information Studies at an ALA-accredited university or equivalent study in School Librarianship. To learn more about the specific areas of support and for guidelines, see below:
- Local, Regional, State Scholarships – Investigate scholarship or funding options from your local, regional, and state organizations and other groups with which you are involved.
Whether you would like to read more for fun, for learning, for activism, or another reason entirely, ALA and its divisions have numerous curated lists to help you achieve your reading goals.
- ALA-Recommended Books in the Fight Against Censorship
- ALSC Children’s Notable Lists
- YALSA Book and Media Lists
- RUSA Notable Books for the Adult Reader