Two LIS professional associations that fit my particular professional interests and goals are the Michigan Library Association (regional) and the Catholic Library Association (international).
Michigan Library Association (MLA)
Mission: “Helping libraries and library professionals succeed” (MLA, n.d., MLA’s Mission section, para. 1).
Member Benefits: “Among MLA’s many professional development benefits are numerous educational and networking workshops and conferences; Jobline, which helps libraries with staffing needs; leadership opportunities to serve on boards and committees; award and recognition programs; and speaking and publishing opportunities” (MLA, n.d., Professional Development Benefits section, para. 1).
MLA’s Membership: “MLA’s membership is comprised of more than 1,500 individual and organizational members from public, academic, private and special libraries. MLA serves all library professionals and their supporters” (MLA, n.d., MLA’s Membership section, para. 1).
Publications: “MLA Members currently stay connected through three e-newsletters: “MLA Update” (general information), “Professional Development Update” (MLA workshop, conference and educational information) and “Advocacy Update” (state and local legislation that affects the Michigan library community.)” (MLA, n.d., Publications & Directories section, para. 1). MLA also publishes a quarterly newsletter titled “Michigan Libraries,” and published a per-reviewed journal from 2002-2009 titled “MLA Forum.”
Primary Activities: Headquartered in Lansing, MI, the Michigan Library Association (MLA) is a chapter of the American Library Association. MLA was founded in 1890 and since that time has served as an advocate for libraries and librarians. “MLA defends the right to read, advocates for adequate library funding, clarifies library governance issues, promotes librarian education, and works for free access of information to all residents” (MLA, n.d., History section, para. 1).
Catholic Library Association (CLA)
Mission: “Provides leadership for professional development; Coordinates the exchange of ideas; Offers spiritual support; Promotes Catholic and ecumenical literature; Fosters community among those who seek, serve, preserve, and share the word in all its forms” (CLA, n.d., Our Mission section, para. 1).
Member Benefits: CLA lists a variety of membership benefits. They include: A voice in the future of libraries; Information on current library issues and trends; Scholarship opportunities; Continuing education programs and workshops; Discounted registration fees to the annual CLA convention; Subscription to “Catholic Library World”; The online “CLA Handbook and Membership Directory”; Electronic discussion groups. (CLA, n.d., Become a Member section, para. 5). They also claim that membership is an opportunity “To interact with others who are involved in library service; To share ideals of outstanding librarians, authors, and educators; To voice your opinion and share your expertise in areas of interest to the library community” (CLA, n.d., Become a Member section, para. 6).
Membership: “Established in 1921, the Catholic Library Association is an international membership organization, providing its members professional development through educational and networking experiences, publications, scholarships, and other services” (CLA, n.d., About CLA section, para. 1).
Publications: The CLA publishes “Catholic Library World.” It is the official journal of CLA and is published quarterly.
Primary Activities: The following was excerpted from the CLA website as being primary activities of the CLA (n.d., The Catholic Library Association section 2, para. 1):