I think sometimes the assumption is that library students drop everything to go to grad school for a couple of years. When the reality of it is that often times, you’re juggling working full time and a family AND then comes school work. Who has time in there for joining (and participating) in professional organizations?
Bohyun Kim at the Library Hat gives a really great primer for new and soon-to-be librarians on how to navigate the workforce with having little to no involvement in networking or professional organizations.
I have a love / hate relationship with professional organizations, honestly. I see their purpose. And I know that some good can come from them, but it generally ends up being an elitist group who do a fine job of excluding those who don’t cut the mustard.
I would have to agree with the sentiments of Dances with Books on the subject:
(ALA) just seems more like an expensive subscription to some journals. At my level, I don’t think it does a whole lot. … Between the elitism and the prohibitive cost, I figured I can get the information I need online or via a library subscription.
I admit I’m a member of the ALA, but I think I do it because it’s expected of me and not because I really gain that much from my membership. However, I have made it a professional goal of mine to start becoming more active in the community. I’ve strayed away from it for various reasons, but I am looking to expand my presence in the organizations in the upcoming year.