My CalSAE colleague Shelly Alcorn writes a great blog called Association Subculture. She recently posted a great “back of the napkin” story sketch about association membership. So I decided I needed to draw mine! (Click on the thumbnail to see a bigger image.)
When I went to library school in the 90s I joined a couple of library associations (SLA and MLA among them) as a student member. I got to meet folks who later became mentors, colleagues, bosses, and friends. I continued my involvement after graduation, and my association connections & activities helped me get a series of great jobs. After I left librarianship to become a consultant, many of those folks continued to be friends and some became clients. I joined associations in my new field and gained more new friends and collaborators. Through CalSAE I have also gained friends and collaborators, and several of its member associations have become clients.
I cannot even imagine my worklife without association membership.
When I was still teaching information literacy at Santa Rosa JC, I spent an entire class session selling my students on the importance of associations as sources of valuable information, mentoring, professional connections, and as a way to learn the culture of their future profession or trade. My favorite reference book of all time (well, besides the New York Public Library Desk Reference) is the Encyclopedia of Associations.
How do associations bring value to YOUR life?