I am a personal member of IFLA, and have built up a back catalogue of ifla journals and publications that my employer does not provide. This proved very useful when I went back to do my add on masters. As a personal member I would love the chance to attend the IFLA conference, but the cost always puts me off...
I suppose the organisation that I have beenmost active in is the LAI. 5 years after 1st qualification I received my Associateship, and I suppose that I should consider applying to do a fellowship - once my thesis for my masters is submitted this year. I have been on the committees of Meitheal Oibre na Gaeilge, the Cataloguing and Indexing Group and the North-South Liaison Committee (looks after the publication of An Leabharlann and the Annual conference) I have goven presentations at seminars for Meitheal Oibre, CIG and the Academic and Special Libraries group. The renewed publication of An Leabharlann has let me get in touch with what other librarians that I would not encounter elsewhere.
I have recently joined the Alumni of SILS at UCD, and attended their first event. I look forward to seeing where this association goes.
I'm not sure if my memberships have had any impact on my career as I am in the same job as I was 6 months after qualification. But it has been very advantageous in keeping up to date with developments in the LIS world, about which I might otherwise not be aware. Additionally attending events has allowed me to be involved in face to face networking which has proven to be very beneficial in keeping in touch with colleagues with whom I have previously worked and studied. It's a great way to find out how others are dealing with issues, problems and developments.
I have learnt something from every publication of a professional oganisation that I have read, and more than one thing from every event that I attended. I would bore anyone reading this if I tried to list them all.
I am a member of the LAI so that I know what is going on in Ireland in the LIS World, and my membership of IFLA supports their activities in lesser developed countires and their advocacy of libraries at WSIS. This is very important to me as I would not like to see the commoditisation of information progress any further that is already hasm, nor the privitasation of library service provision.
I was always interested in joining the ALA as an international member and would love to be able to attend either of their conferences. I knew that this was possible, as a previous president of the LAI mentioned it to me in relation to her own membership, but this task has prompted me to consider it again. The bacis cost at $78 does not seem too prohibitive. I would espeically lke to be able to attend training courses, perhaps in combination with attendance at IUG - if I ever get to go again. This is definitely something that I will consider in the next few weeks as membership runs from September to August...