I enjoyed Bethan’s post for Thing 7. It amazed me to see the long list of organizations she provided. I’m sure that is only the tip of the iceberg. I was intrigued enough to explore several of the links and will return to explore some of them again.
As I apply my library training in a non-library, administrative environment these days, my library affiliation is limited to our state association and one of the special interest sections. I make a point to participate as much as is practicable because I am a firm believer in the notion that one gets from an organization what one is willing to put into it. I believe my current position benefits from my participation albeit indirectly. I know I am the richer for the participation
I do belong to a national organization (and its regional affiliate) which is directly related to my current position. There again participation is key. Obviously, belonging to professional organizations has value beyond networking and continuing education for your organization benefits from what you learn and bring back.
Less obvious is that fact that at times the participation in a professional organization helps you think through your sense of professionalism, and to ask hard questions about what you are doing and why. Sometimes that’s painful, sometimes not but I’ve found that doing so opens (and closes) doors of opportunity for the future.