Why You Should Join State and Local Societies

I just spent part of an afternoon renewing my memberships in state and local historical and genealogical societies. I belong to the Minnesota Genealogical Society, the Wisconsin State Genealogical Society, the Iowa Genealogical Society, the Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania, and the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, as well as the Minnesota and Wisconsin Historical Societies.
I also belong to county genealogical or historical societies in Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania; Rock County, Wisconsin; and Mitchell County, Iowa.
Why is belonging to these groups a good investment?
While my personal research is in other states, I live in Minnesota. My membership in the Minnesota Genealogical Society gives me access to the society’s library, classes, publications, and programs. I have the opportunity to volunteer–currently as 1st Vice President and Chair of the Education Committee. More important, I have the opportunity to meet and learn from fellow genealogists–people whose eyes don’t glaze over when I talk about my latest discovery or problem.
My memberships in the genealogical societies of the states where I do research–Pennsylvania for my family, Iowa and Wisconsin for my husband’s family–give me access to their journals, websites, and more. GSP’s website has a series of videos in addition to their online databases. WSGS just started offering live webinars. They’re recorded and available at any time in the WSGS Members Only area. I receive discounts on some purchases through WSGS and IGS. These and many other societies also have Facebook pages, where I can ask questions and make contact with other genealogists working on and in those states.
That leaves the local societies–why belong to those? I’m too far away to attend or give programs. I can, however, read their publications, use databases and other resources they have put on line, and make queries.
Plus, I support the activities of the societies at all levels in preserving and publishing information about their areas.
I think it’s a good deal. What about you?