Professional Associations: Info 200 Free Membership

iStudent Blog

Published: August 6, 2018 by Priscilla Ameneyro

So you’re about to start your first semester as an iSchool student, you just enrolled in INFO 200 and you’re not sure what professional association(s) to join. Lucky for you, I’m here to walk you through the complimentary one-year membership available to all MLIS students in INFO 200. I’ll also share some reasons why you should consider becoming a member with multiple associations, including student and local chapters.

I hope this article will act as an introduction to LIS related professional associations. Take your time researching each association to identify the ones that best meet your professional goals. But if you’re a new student, don’t take too much time choosing your complimentary membership as there’s a time constraint to qualify for this benefit:

“After the end of the add/drop period, students in INFO 200 will be given the option to select one of the[…]associations for their one year free membership[...]if no selection is made, you will not be joined to any association.”

National and International Associations
There are countless reasons to join and stay active in professional associations: networking, exploring career paths and developing your professional skills are just a few. All students in INFO 200 are given a complimentary (free!) one-year membership in one of the following professional associations:

All students in MARA 200 are also given a complimentary (free!) one-year membership in one of the following professional associations:

For more information on student discounts, annual member conferences and more, be sure to check out this post from the Career Blog.

Local Chapters
When discussing local and student chapters, the national and international associations are often referred to as “parent” associations. The School of Information makes it very easy to find parent associations, local chapters and student chapters by keeping an up-to-date database of professional associations in the library and information sciences. Because I live in Northern California, I searched the database for local associations that I might join. I found the Northern California Association of Law Libraries and The Northern California Chapter of the Art Libraries Society of North America (which is only $11 for students to join!), among others. 

Student Chapters
The iSchool student groups are a great way to connect with your peers and even build leadership skills as an executive committee member. Many of them don’t require you to be a member of the parent association to join. I recommend watching this video (about 45 minutes) for a friendly introduction to the student chapters.

Don’t let all the professional association options overwhelm you. As you move through the program and get a better sense of your career path, you can make the most of your student discount on additional memberships, find a local chapter and join a student chapter or two. There’s always the option to utilize social media like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and blogs to stay connected with any other associations that you don’t formally join. First things first, make sure you sign up for your free membership!