Professional development, networking, job opportunities and so much more is afforded to individuals who participate in professional associations. This has been evident in past parts of my career and are going to be especially prevalent in moving forward with my MLIS studies. I have explored a couple different associations that seem to mirror my career aspirations in one way or another, those discoveries are as follows:
Software & Information Industry Association
Missions: Promote. Protect. Inform. The SIIA is concerned with not only promoting the interests of the software and digital content industry, but also in the protection of intellectual freedom issues regarding member companies. This extends to advocating for a beneficial legal and regulatory environment for the industry. Finally, the SIIA serves as a resource on trends, technologies, policies and related issues concerning the industry as well as informing the greater public.
Membership Benefits: There are several divisions of the SIIA, and the benefits derived from the group are vastly tied to those. Overall though, the SIIA provides international services in government relations, business development, corporate education and intellectual property protection to software and information companies.
Opportunities/Requirements: Membership in this organization is extended to companies and those fees are directly related to the capital with which that company functions under.
Publications: These are all free newsletters available to the public including, SIIA Digital Policy Roundup, SIIA Intellectual Property Roundup, Public Sector Innovation Roundup, SIIA Software SmartBrief, SIIA Ed Tech Daily, SIIA Content Weekly, and the SIIA/SIPAlert Daily.
Primary Activities: The main events for this association are concerned with keeping their members up to date on emerging technologies. The majority of the regular activities include webinars and conferences with education components.
Presence: The SIIA supports a Social Media Hub that integrates video, photos, a Twitter account for each industry division, Facebook, LinkedIn, and an active blog. As should be expected with an association committed to technology, their presence in Web 2.0 is robust. As well, their regular newsletters are concerned with keeping their followers (since anyone can subscribe) informed about emerging technologies, trends, and educating that readership.
Why? Since the SIIA is a trade organization, I would not be able to join unless the company I worked for was a member. That being said, I see value in the information and resources being offered, so I would push for a company membership. I do appreciate the amount of free resources offered and will utilize them for personal growth and education in the meantime.
Association for Information Science and Technology
Missions: ASIS&T brings together varied information specialists invested in improving the ways society stores, retrieves, analyzes, manages, archives and disseminates information. It is a belief of the association that with the rapid pace with which technology is progressing, it is essential for information specialists to work together to monitor and share developments in the field. With a focus on personal and professional growth, ASIS&T wants members to “extend their knowledge and skills, develop and use professional networks, pursue career development goals and assume leadership roles in the association and in the information community.”
Membership Benefits: From access to webinars to regularly produced publications, from special interest groups to job opportunities, and from insurance plans to education opportunities, ASIS&T has benefits that extend much further than just networking and conferences. It seems the benefits extend across a broad spectrum in order to meet the needs of researchers, developers and end users in information technology.
Opportunities/Requirements: Anyone interested can join ASIS&T for access to webinars, conferences, publications and job opportunities. This membership includes access to discounts and the ability to hold office. For a discounted fee, students can join ASIS&T and receive subscriptions to publications, access to job opportunities, discounts and benefits, as well as reduced fees for conferences and education events.
Publications: The ASIS&T has a Digital Library where members can access the Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology (JASIST) and the Bulletin of the Association for Information Science and Technology along with conference proceedings from past Annual meetings. As well, there is access to a bookstore where there are several books on information management, information architecture, knowledge management and more. The Annual Review of Information Science & Technology (ARIST) is published annually on behalf of ASIS&T.
Primary Activities: The members of ASIS&T come together from a diversity of professions to work together to find solutions to emerging technology needs at conferences, annual meetings, continuing education events, and regular webinars. There are local chapters of ASIS&T that work on more localized events.
Presence: There are Facebook and Twitter communities for different aspects of the national association, local chapters, student groups, and special interest groups. Some of these are more active than others, but all are invested in promoting the information professions and their technological developments. The publications of ASIS&T focus on new technology, the ways industries are shaping those technologies, as well as ways that different industries can work together to propel information technology.
Why? Currently, I am in contact with the student leader of the Wayne State University ASIS&T. We are working together to bring life back to the student group because the chapter has been inactive for some time now. I’m very interested in becoming more involved with a group that is focused on the ways technology is shaping our future and how important that is to society’s growth.