When I started studying to become a librarian, I had no idea what a professional association was or even what they did. Since then, I have learned the answer to both those questions and just how cool professional associations can be.
So what is a professional association? Google says:
“a professional association (also called a professional body, professional organization, or professional society) is usually a nonprofit organization seeking to further a particular profession, the interests of individuals engaged in that profession and the public interest.”
So how does that translate to the real world? ALIA (Australian Library and Information Association) is the professional association for librarians and one issues they advocate is FAIR (Freedom of Access to Information and Resources). This is an issue librarians are passionate about and it even ties into their Code of Ethics. Pretty neat uh?
So here is my list of associations every information professional should know. If you think I’ve missed one, let me know in the comments below.
ALIA seeks to empower the profession through the development, promotion and delivery of quality library and information services. They have groups that support activities all around Australia. One such group is the Student and Newgrad Group, they host workshops and social events aimed at helping new librarians engage with the profession.
LIANZA ensures that kiwis have access to world class innovative library services in all aspects of their lives, from school to university and from public to private sector. They provide support for librarians through resources, professional development and providing new librarians with opportunities to volunteer.
VALA – Libraries, Technology and the Future Inc. promote the use and understanding of information technology within libraries and the broader information sector. They have a bi-annual conference that is a much-talked-about event. The last one was in Feb 2016. They host workshops, lectures, webinars and many other social events. Next year they will host a conference called VALA Tech Camp.
Museums Australia a national association committed to protecting and promoting Australia’s art, culture and heritage. They also have an Emerging Professionals Group and the goal of this group is to assist students and new grads into the profession through events and networking opportunity.
ASA was created in response to the growth of archival, recordkeeping and heritage preservation services in Australia. Like most professional associations they have have conferences and provide members with countless professional development and networking opportunities.
RIMPA offers a wide range of activities supporting the profession of records and information management. If you are looking to become an Records Manager or Archivist this professional association can do a lot to help you grow. I have volunteered at their 2015 national conference, written for their professional magazine iQ, participated in their mentoring program and and been part of a promotional video for RIMPA. I have nothing but praise for this association!
IASSIST is an international organization of professionals working with information technology and data services to support research and teaching in the social sciences. These guys can help you gain an international perspective, which is always a good thing!
NDF NZ is a network of people working together to enhance digital interaction with culture and heritage in New Zealand. They host a kick-arse conference every year and if you are interested in digital humanities then this association is worth checking out.
aaDH was formed in March 2011 to strengthen the digital humanities research community. They have a bi-annual conference and a ton of resources for members.
Till next time!
DFTBA (Don’t Forget to be Awesome)