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John Stevenson's picture

ALA membership dues proposal would use CPI for regular modest rate increases - comments welcome

Kay Cassell, Chair, ALA Membership Committee, shared the attached ALA Dues Adjustment Proposal which has been approved by the ALA Membership Committee and the ALA Executive Board.  Here's her brief summary of the proposal.  She will be visiting a number of meetings in Seattle to present this proposal and answer questions.

The proposal recommends using the national average Consumer Price Index (CPI) http://www.bls.gov/cpi/ to make future adjustments to ALA personal member dues amounts. If the Consumer Price Index goes up, your dues would go up by that percentage. If there is no change or a decrease in the CPI, your dues would stay the same. Under this approach, your dues could go up between $1 and $4 annually, based on your membership type. If the proposal is approved by members, it would take effect on September 1, 2013. The ALA Membership Committee is charged to assess needs and make recommendations concerning membership dues and will be responsible for monitoring the use of the Consumer Price Index to adjust dues.

ALA Council members have started discussing the proposal.  If GODORT members wish to weigh in, please share your thoughts and concerns with me.  Thanks.

John Stevenson's picture

ALA HQ released the attached Summary of ALA Membership Dues and Member Types table which may be of interest.  Some Councilors noted that dues increases need not be automatic and cited examples of ALA units/affiliates whose leadership vote to increase dues using CPI data.  Preventing the increases from being strictly automatic reduces the chance of dues going up with CPI but never coming down if the CPI does.

Discussion continues on the ALA Council list and I found Maggie Ferrell's statement helpful. She wrote "ACRL, as noted in previous emails, went to a dues increase structure that cannot exceed the HEPI unless voted on by the membership.  However, the dues increase is not automatic and the ACRL Board must consider and approve the increase.  Here is the wording from the ACRL Bylaws:

Section 3. Dues. The amount of personal member dues shall be determined by the ACRL Board of Directors. Annually, the Board of Directors will review and may authorize a dues adjustment not to exceed the percentage change in the most current Higher Education Price Index (HEPI) rounded to the nearest dollar. Adjustments in excess of the percentage change in the most current HEPI are subject to the approval of the membership in a mail or electronic vote. Organizational and corporate member dues shall be determined by the ACRL Board of Directors.

The ACRL Board is accountable to the membership so this is good "check and balance" process and the increase is not automatic.  However, the ACRL Board thought a gradual increase in dues when necessary would be easier on our members than a large increase."


John A. Stevenson
Associate Librarian, Student Multimedia Design Center
University of Delaware Library
302 831-8671

Membership-table-dues-and-types.pdf146.28 KB
Lori Smith's picture

The ACRL approach sounds reasonable to me.  I don't much like the idea of dues going up automatically without *someone* voting on them.