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Notes from ALA11 Membership Committee

With thanks to Richard Kong for taking these notes, please add your recollections and reflections in the Comments section.  The final committee report to Council is due next month and will be based on this thread.  - John


Membership Committee Notes – Richard Kong
ALA11 New Orleans
June 26, 2011

Discussion of ALTAFF Friends group and Boards special membership project.

Joint Trustee Membership proposal passed by vote, referred to ALA Board.

Membership Statistics

-year-to-date and month-to-month stats reviewed -larger than expected decline in organizational membership -decent job on renewals -lagging in new member recruitment, which is partly reliant on conference cities. New Orleans is going to mean new member recruitment is down. -renewals are off for our regular members. demographic pressure on association with the number of retirees in next few years is going to be significant.

-this spring ala has worked on repositioning the value of membership (i.e., shift from “what do you get with membership?” to “your dues support to advocacy efforts of this institution.”) -need to convince organizations to make this a regular part of their budget and not cut out the ala dues.

-we’re on the edge, about to jump in, on the increased number of retirements. ala needs to address this.

-question: “with more retirements, will more new librarians find jobs?” depends on timing. many libraries are putting a hold “freeze” on positions, might not be hiring right away.

-RUSA trying to reach out to library schools more, but membership overall is strong. outreach to library students is generating more excitement than reaching out to recent retirees.

-ALSC - mentoring efforts to students are increasing -ALECTS membership committee is also talking about reinvigorating contact to library schools. also has a new members interest group that has that as a part of their focus.

-Freedom to Read foundation is also offering free memberships to recent grads from library schools.

-suggestion that divisions need to reach out more to library school faculty.

-ala will be supporting and working with division and RT staff to make sure we’re reaching out more to lib school faculty.

-Retired RT is reaching out to people who are not even retired yet, to try and engage them before they retire. members is approx 110.

-Michael Dowling at ALA is the director for chapter relations. liaison for student chapters. email list and facebook network already exist.

Young Professionals Task Force - Subcommittee

-Laurel Bliss from Young Professionals Task Force spoke about the task force’s efforts to look into how ala can retain young(er) members. has tried to formalize recommendations and move forward in some meaningful way with the membership committee. recommendation to allow task force to become a sub-committee of the membership committee. proposal was presented to ALA board and reaction was generally positive. concerns expressed about age-centricity of this task force. question about how this subcommittee will be different from NMRT. lively discussion continued. -next step forward? suggestions include to create a subcommittee for virtual membership and another for outreach to library school students. -discussion of virtual participation software options -asked for volunteers to work on LIS school outreach group - several responded -Laurel, John, and Kay will arrange a phone call to talk further about how to move forward with young professional task force.

Division and RT report:

      -RUSA- having reps at RUSA programs introduce themselves at beginning of programs with buttons, has led to ppl approaching them at sessions. staffing member pavilion. handouts for every sections and committees to hand out. talking points created for each section and committee. retool RUSA 101 for annual 2012 conference. will focus on outreach to library school students.

      -ALCTS- successful 101 program this year. speed-dating type format had 11 tables and focused on sections, topics, resume review, how to get involved, networking table, etc. section chairs made up handouts for different sections. rewards given. bingo cards

      -LITA- over 120 people at 101 program on Friday. 90 of those ppl were brand new. “ah-ha” moment - give specific instructions to fill out a volunteer form and give them clear expectation of how long it might take to hear back about an opportunity. happy hour had over 160 people attending. no vendor sponsor. lita wants ppl come to be with the ppl and learn more about lita, not for the free drinks only. lita 201 at midwinter has received good feedback, ppl saying they learned what they need to do to get involved.

Discussion of midwinter schedule.