Joining GLA means so much more than paying dues once a year and adding another credential to your resume. As the largest professional organization for librarians, media specialists, and library staff in Georgia, GLA offers a variety of programming, resources, and ways to get involved.
So you've just joined the Georgia Library Association. Welcome!
GLA is led by an Executive Board made up of elected officers. At the head is the GLA President, who serves a three year term as Vice President, President, and then Past President.
GLA is divided into different divisions representing the different library workers in the state, including divisions for academic libraries, public libraries, school libraries, special libraries, and more. The New Members Round Table is the division for new librarians, new library staff, or simply anyone new to the GLA. Division chairs represent their groups on the Executive Board.
GLA is also divided into a variety of interest groups devoted to different aspects of library work, such as technical services, as well as different topics of interest to library workers, such as library services for persons with disabilities.
Finally, members can volunteer for committees to serve for one year terms. Committees help with everything from gaining new membership and planning the annual conference to maintaining the organization’s bylaws.
The two official events for GLA are the the new year planning meeting, called GLA Midwinter, and the annual Georgia Libraries Conference (formerly GaCOMO). The planning meeting is mainly for members to meet with their divisions, interest groups, and committees to make plans for the year. The annual conference is an opportunity for the entire organization to come together for professional development programming and networking events. It’s also a lot of fun!
Different divisions and interest groups also have a variety of events throughout the year — both in person and virtually. The New Members Round Table sponsors events through local groups in the Atlanta area, called Atlanta Emerging Librarians, and the Savannah-based Coastal Georgia Library Collaborative.
The easiest way to get involved is to join the division or interest group related to your job or passion! Visit the division or interest group page for more information and to learn whom to contact. Even if you can’t attend the Midwinter Meeting or the annual conference your first year, many committees have opportunities for virtual work, such as helping select GLA Awards recipients or promoting GLA’s activities through the Marketing and Branding Committee. Finally, make sure you join the GLA listserv in order to stay up to date on news, events, and opportunities within the organization.
In addition to the networking and leadership opportunities already mentioned, GLA provides learning opportunities.
The nationally recognized Carterette Series Webinars offer seminars on a variety of library-related topics from multitasking to outreach to discussions on privacy. Launched in 2010, the archives are available with over 60 webinars, and each session is approved for one Georgia Continuing Education (CE) contact hour. In addition, take some time to peruse the Georgia Library Quarterly (GLQ). This refereed, open-access journal focuses on library and information science and primarily features news and information of interest to Georgia librarians. Both venues offer you a way to learn, but are also available as a platform for you to educate your peers in something of interest to you.
We hope this page has helped familiarize you with GLA. If you ever have any questions or suggestions, please contact the New Members Round Table chair. We are here to help!
GLA‘s Mission Statement
The Georgia Library Association mission is to provide leadership that empowers and supports library and information professionals and the diverse library community by promoting professional growth, fostering innovation, creativity, and expertise, and through advocacy that advances and sustains library services throughout Georgia.