Mark your calendar: March 7, 2019

What’s March 7?

The deadline for most of the ALA scholarships! The exception is the Spectrum scholarship, whose deadline is March 1, 2019.

Some of the scholarships listed on the page are historical and no longer being offered, but the following are all accepting applications for students attending in 2019-20.

ALA Century Scholarship

David H. Clift Scholarship

Tom and Roberta Drewes Scholarship

Mary V. Gaver Scholarship

Miriam L. Hornback Scholarship

Christopher Hoy/ERT Scholarship

Tony B. Leisner Scholarship

Peter Lyman Memorial/SAGE Scholarship in New Media

Spectrum Scholarship


Getting Involved: New Members Round Table

The New Members Round Table (NMRT) is the best place to start your involvement in the ALA. NMRT is for members who have joined ALA within the last 10 years. It assists its members with navigating the larger ALA and finding their footing.

Things you can do as a member of the NMRT:
Get leadership training and experience
Develop professional development habits
Find out about scholarships for attending conferences

Membership is $10/yr for student ALA members

What next?
join the NMRT listserv to get the latest news on scholarships and other opportunities
-stay up-to-date on NMRT blog, Twitter, and news at
-read issues of Endnotes, the NMRT journal
-attend an NMRT event at the Midwinter or Annual Conference
join a committee

If you are already an ALA member (or joint state/ALA member), here’s how to join a Round Table:
Go to and sign in.
Click the Add New Round Tables button.
Select the Round Table(s) you want to add.
Scroll to the bottom and click Review.
Follow the subsequent payment prompts.


Getting Involved: Divisions, Round Tables, and Ethnic Caucuses

Divisions, Round Tables, and the Ethnic Caucuses are great ways to connect with ALA members who share your interests and to start shaping the future of libraries and librarianship. All of them are smaller units within the ALA, but what’s the difference?

Divisions are groups within the ALA focused on types of libraries, types of services, or particular areas of interest. Most have an additional membership fee, with a discounted student rate. Many have additional interest groups within the division.
A few examples:
ACRL – Association of College & Research Libraries
PLA – Public Library Association
YALSA – Young Adult Library Services Association

Round Tables groups whose subject spans divisions, such as the Intellectual Freedom Round Table, the Film & Media Round Table, and the New Members Round Table–we’ll be featuring that one next week. Their additional membership ranges from free to $10 membership.
Check out the whole list at!

The ethnic caucuses are the American Indian Library Association (AILA), the Asian Pacific American Library Association (APALA), the Black Caucus of the American Library Association (BCALA), the Chinese American Library Association (CALA) and REFORMA—the National Association to Promote Library Services to Latinos and the Spanish-Speaking. Their focus (broadly) is improving library services for their associated communities, and providing professional support for and recruiting of librarians and library staff of color. The all-caucus conference, previously every 6 years but now every 4, is called the Joint Conference of Librarians of Color. There are also often panels and meetings at the biannual ALA conferences.


Call for session proposals at OLA-WLA Joint Conference – deadline 10/29/18!

Have you completed an awesome project that you want a chance to present? Is there a panel discussion or workshop you could lead?
The Oregon Library Association-Washington Library Association Joint Conference is looking for program proposals. The conference is April 17-18, 2019, but the proposal deadline is *October 29* at noon. Visit for instructions on submitting and tips for writing a great proposal.

Note: The academic library division especially is hoping for people to lead sessions/presentations on academic library subjects.

OLA/WLA Conference logo



Why Join the American Library Association (ALA)?

As students, you have the opportunity to join both ALA and your state’s library association at a discounted rate of $40.

Why spend the cash?

ALA offers you information on current topics in the field, discounted rates for education and conferences, access to scholarships, and more. Your membership also helps fund ALA infrastructure and pursue issues important to our field.
Your state association is most likely to be most helpful now as students and beginning professionals. They are great places to gain connections, mentorships, and training depending on how active your association is.

But you won’t know until you check it out!

If you are unhappy with what you see, be the change you want to see within any organization you join. If you try it and don’t find a nurturing environment, check back later. Maybe now isn’t a good time for them or you, but things change. Don’t write off connection opportunities unless you find a scam.

You’ve joined ALA…now what?

Get involved! Whether that is reading newsletters, taking classes, finding people who inspire you, or running for office, keeping track of our field helps you.

What are all the divisions, affiliations, round tables, etc?

These are interests groups within ALA that focus on a particular topic within our field.

I have a lot of interests and goals, but not enough money to join all the groups and goals.

That’s okay! Did you take a class that made you interested in one of these topics? Do you have a co-worker or person at your Directed Field Work (DFW) placement that has you excited about work? Talk to them. Whether it is a professor, classmate, or mentor, they might already be a member and can recommend a group for your interests and your budget.

Why join an ethnic caucus?

If you are a person of color, an ethnic caucus might be a good group to join. They are focused on diversity issues within their community, both the ones they serve and represent within librarianship, and they span topics and library types. Being a librarian of color presents different challenges and the ethnic caucuses can offer a place of support that might not be as readily available elsewhere.

The Take Away:

  • Do what is right for you right now, mentally and fiscally
  • Spend what fits with your budget
  • Support infrastructure
  • Get involved
  • Be the change you want to see


Membership webpage:

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