MLA’s 20+ sections, built around themes of long-term concern to MLA members, are core to our mission and work. Cumulatively, these sections have almost 3,400 members—and the fact that many of you choose to belong to several sections shows that they have value.
Section work also benefits those who aren’t members. Some sections offer awards and grants that are available to a broad range of applicants, such as the Daniel T. Richards Prize sponsored by the Collection Development Section and the Hospital Libraries Section/MLA professional development grants.
Others have publicly available professional resources, like the Core Public Health Journal Project created by the Public Health/Health Administration Section.
Still others, like the Research Section, share their periodicals as an educational tool for the profession. (By the way, they’re currently seeking feedback about Hypothesis—take their online survey to help them shape the future direction of their research-related communications.)
And, naturally, the programs that sections run at the annual meeting, and the contributions to our knowledgebase presented there, are open to all.
To get the full benefit of section activities, of course, you need to join. When you join a section, you get access to:
- networking and professional relationships through section email lists
- leadership opportunities within the section
- a member directory of others active in the section’s area of interest
Member benefits may also include:
- blogs, newsletters, and other members-only communications
- awards and grants open only to section members
- bibliographies and other tools
Most sections are very inexpensive—less than $20 per year on top of your regular MLA membership. Members: when you're renewing this year, consider joining a new section to deepen your MLA experience and broaden your opportunities for professional development. Joining for the first time? New introductory members can sign up for one section free for a year (a program of Section Council) to test-drive section activities and benefits.
Look for more public section resources to be shared on MLANET in the next few months, such as the Expert Searching list (sponsored by PSS) and other public lists run by sections as part of their mission and outreach.
Are you a section member? Would you recommend membership in your section(s) to others?