Professionalism and Professional Development

Making the Most of Your Membership

Now more than ever, we are looking to make connections and feel inspired. Personally, I’m feeling this way in regards to my own connections with families at work and in my own relationships with colleagues and friends. As my work setting feels smaller, the more I look to ALSC and the greater library world to inspire me in my work. Committees and conferences are a great way to build community but I have found there are many other ways to make the most of your membership. No matter if you are doing committee work now, taking a break, or haven’t had the chance to serve, there are many other ways to grow and connect.     

ALSC workshops and webinars: Is there a topic you would like to learn more about? Maybe advocacy, programming, community outreach, or collection development? Check out upcoming workshops (including a course called “The Library in the Middle: Serving Tweens Through Change and Discovery”) or upcoming live or on-demand webinars. No matter what your schedule or capacity is like, there is something digestible for you. 

Join the Mentoring Program: Applications will be opening this Fall for both mentees and mentors. This half-year program will help you form a lasting relationship with another ALSC member, dive deeper into the many professional development tools ALSC offers, and set you up for future engagement opportunities.

Write a Blog Post: Is there something you are passionate about and would like to share with other practitioners? Odds are, many other people would like to read about it too! Check out the Guest Post Guidelines with information on how to get involved. 

Attend Committee Meetings: Many committee meetings are open to members. Just look for the meeting information and agendas in ALA Connect. Committee meetings are a great way to learn about all the work that goes into each committee as well as the collaborative nature/culture of each group. It can be intimidating to sit in on an ALSC committee meeting, but it is the best way to find out the work of the organization! Everyone is super welcoming to new voices and happy to answer any questions you may have. 

We are ALSC Chat: This is one of my favorite platforms for learning about the work ALSC does in an informal way. Committees use this as a way to promote their work as well as listen to attendees to learn what are some ways to support Youth Services staff as a whole. 

Do you have any recommendations for ways to engage or stay inspired in your work? Feel free to comment below.  

Melody, a young woman with black hair standing in front of a brick building, smiles at the camera.

Melody Leung is a Youth Services Librarian at the Everett Public Library. She loves multicultural storytimes, movement programs, and making partnerships to bring library services where youth are. In her spare time, you’ll most likely find her reading manga or practicing wushu. 

This blog post relates to ALSC Core Competencies of: VII. Professionalism and Professional Development

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