Why I’m a Member of AIIP
As many of you know, I’m an active member and a past-president of the Association of Independent Information Professionals (AIIP). I first joined in 2001, a year after starting my business, and it didn’t take long to realize that AIIP would become an essential part of my business success.
An Independent Information Professional is someone who:
Works in the information industry – perhaps doing research, investigations, knowledge management, library consulting, or anything else related to finding, managing, and sharing information.
Owns their own business
I belong to several other associations that fill my professional and business development needs, including SLA, PPIAC, and NCISS. But none focus on owning a solo or small information business – and that’s why AIIP is so important to me.
Someone recently asked why I continue my membership, even after all this time, and with so much competition for my association dollars. So here are my top reasons for renewing each year. Since it’s hard to rank these benefits, I’ve listed them in no particular order:
The network – Without my AIIP network, I couldn’t run my business. It’s where I turn when I need multi-lingual researchers to help with hard-to-obtain non-U.S. degree verifications, media researchers I can trust for their thoroughness, or pointers to the best training opportunities. Then there are the countless referrals that have kept my business going through the years.
The email discussion list – I can post a tough research question to the AIIP-L discussion list, and, within minutes, I’ll receive several great responses. It’s always interesting to see how researchers approach these questions differently, and I love getting a fresh perspective!
The vendor discounts – Some things can’t be found through Google, and the professional online databases, including ProQuest Dialog, LexisNexis, and Dow Jones’ Factiva help me search news articles and other types of information quickly and thoroughly. These products can be expensive for a small or independent business, and AIIP negotiates agreements with pricing models that fit any budget.
The educational opportunities – The AIIP annual conference and webinars help me sharpen my research skills and business acumen. Continual learning is essential, no matter what field you’re in, and I really appreciate AIIP’s focus on my needs.
Let me know if you have any questions about AIIP membership – including whether or not it’s right for you!