Sunday, June 30, 2013

Professional Organizations


Identifying professional library associations was a challenge. I did not want to research the Michigan Library Association (MLA) and the American Library Association (ALA) and be too cliché. I asked my co-workers about what memberships they maintained. All of them belonged to the MLA and various other non-library organizations, but no other library association. Like my coworkers, I already am professional member of MLA. Therefore I felt it was appropriate to explore other organizations outside of the MLA and ALA.

I have another class this semester with Dr. Anghelescu, and she often talks about the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA). IFLA is very interesting to me because of my background in history. From the IFLA (2013) website:

IFLA is an independent, international, non-governmental, not-for-profit organization. Our aims are to:

  • Promote high standards of provision and delivery of library and information services

  • Encourage widespread understanding of the value of good library & information services

  • Represent the interests of our members throughout the world.

The main benefit to IFLA is becoming a member of an international community. This would enable one to have international professional networks. Becoming a member of IFLA also allows one to vote on global issues that the organization is involved in, and help decide what will be on future agendas. A free subscription to the IFLA Journal, IFLA Annual report and IFLA newsletters are included. There is also a discount offered to IFLA members on the cost of attendance at the IFLA Annual Conference. The only requirement to join IFLA is to be an LIS professional or LIS student. The membership cost is 139 Euros (about $180.00) for individuals and 60 Euros (about $78.00) for students and new graduates. IFLA’s primary focus is libraries on a global scale. Advocacy for libraries in rural countries, bridging the digital divide, preservation, and digital strategies all fall under IFLA’s scope.

 IFLA is very interesting to me because of their focus on preservation and digitization of rare materials, as well as being international ambassadors to libraries. I will join IFLA once I know more about how the organization would fit into my career path, and what type of library would benefit from me being a member of IFLA. It is too big of an organization for my position at a public library.

                Another international library organization that caught my attention was the Masonic Library and Museum Association (MLMA). Both my grandfather and my great grandfather were Masons, and I am as well. It surprised me that I had not heard of this organization before. From the MLMA (2013) website, the mission of the MLMA is “…to assist and support, through education, facilitation of communication, coordination of effort, those individuals charged with, or interested in, the collection, management, and preservation of Masonic heritage.” (Masonic Library and Museum Association, 2013)

                Members are eligible to vote and hold office, as well as receive a subscription to the MLMA newsletter. There are no requirements to join; you do not have to be a member of a Masonic body or a LIS professional to join, just someone who has interest in the subject matter. Membership is $20 for any individual. The primary activities of MLMA are to instruct and assist with preservation of masonic artifacts and materials.

The MLMA really excited me because of my interest in special libraries. I was very disheartened, however, to find that even though the website says copyright 2013, the most recent newsletter I found was from 2006. There was a meeting held in late 2012, but there is not much information on the site about current events. Even though this is an international organization, I probably would not join. I would feel better about joining if there were more current updates to their site, and if I knew how active the group was.



International Federation of Library Associations. (2013). More about IFLA. Retrieved June 30, 2013, from International Federation of Library Associations:


Masonic Library and Museum Association. (2013). Mission Statement. Retrieved June 30, 2013, from Masonic Library and Museum Association:





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