Wednesday, September 02, 2009

The Worst Part About Graduating

Ok, slightly off topic. Usually I blog about books and not about librarianship, mainly because if, for some odd reason, I ever stop being a librarian, I'll never stop being a reader. Also, when I started Biblio File, I was a database cataloger, which is a library job, but not that exciting to blog about.

BUT, there's something bugging me about the field of library science and I want to talk about and well, it's my blog.

Three things--

1. I have to pay all of my own membership dues to various professional organizations. My workplace does not do this for me.

2. I graduated library school in December.

3. I worked full time while going to school part time. Now that I'm done with school, my income situation hasn't changed AT ALL, unless you take into account the fact that I'm now paying back my student loans. (And the fact that this recession means I'm not getting raise or cost of living adjustment this year and am being furloughed for 5 days and was furloughed for 3 days last year.)

So, this leads to...

I am no longer a member of any professional organizations. This includes ALA. It's not that I don't want to be, but I've graduated and I'm no longer a student. My ALA membership dues DOUBLED. Is it still worth the price... eh. ALA itself doesn't really cut it for me and I was really only a member because their divisions, mainly ALSC and YALSA, are well worth the price. (Which is dues plus an extra division fee.) They're even worth the new price. I may still renew, but this is something I've been debating all summer, when my first renewal notices came. Membership fees were already something I had to save up for due to the number of divisions I'm in. In reality, what's going to do it is that the doubled price is still smaller than the difference between member and non-member prices for the annual convention, which I'll be going to because it's here in town.

And then there are my state library association dues... it makes a lot of sense for me to stay in MLA. If anything, I attend a lot of their their training and there is a big difference between member and nonmember prices. More than that though, I am much more involved at the State level. I'm currently serving on an awards committee and the association in general does a lot of interesting things that I'd like to be more involved in but... my membership dues more than QUINTUPLED. They're now more expensive than the ALA dues, even when you add in all my divisions!

Looking at the big picture, is it worth it for me to pay the money and join these organizations? Yes.

Does that make them any more affordable looking at my day-to-day budgeting? No.

Solutions? I really think they need some sort of mid-level membership level to ease you into paying full dues, especially is there's going to be a larger jump.

What say you?

1 comment:

Amanda said...

Oh goodness do I feel your pain. When I graduated with my MLS in Dec. 07, I had a full-time library position. Pay wasn't great, but good enough for the time. I move to a higher paying area...can't get a job to save my life. Can't keep my memberships to anything. Sigh. The jobs go away but the school loans never do.