Reciprocal links still transfer some value - as long as they are not a dominant factor in a backlink profile. Directory links, as long as they come from a relevant page, can be a bit better.
But that's assuming the directory itself is legitimate. If they take on all applicants as long as they get a link, that's not a very strong editorial policy.
So you'll need to judge the value of the directory for yourself. We have a lot of threads about directories here - with a lot of shared experiences. Here's a good one with a solid orientation from webwork in the second post: