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Keri Cascio-IL (staff)'s picture

ALCTS Board Meeting Summary: October 1, 2015

ALCTS Board Meeting
October 1, 2015
2:00pm Central
Via GoToWebinar

In Attendance:
Norm Medeiros (presiding)
Bobby Bothmann
Erin Boyd
Hannah Buckland
Maria Collins
Jim Dooley
Andy Hart
Erin Leach
Annie Peterson
Michele Seikel
Vicki Sipe
Shannon Tennant
Andrea Wirth
Keri Cascio (executive director)

Summary:

If we assume people join associations to find solutions to problems, what problems does ALCTS solve?

- The provision of training
- To learn from others
- Provides professional service/leadership opportunities for librarians promotion and tenure
- The ability to connect with others who have similar interests; to build one’s professional network

In the “Art of Membership,” the author suggests marketing benefits as outcomes. For instance, you don’t buy shampoo, you buy clean, shiny hair. How would this strategy apply to ALCTS?

- You aren’t buying a membership, you’re buying a community
- We need to think of what newer members feel they are getting through joining ALCTS. Many of us came in because somebody mentored us.
- Some people don’t see the benefit of joining because they can take advantage of continuing education opportunities, for instance, without being a member.
- We can create “engage” pages.
- Describe how ALCTS gives back to the wider library community

Another section of the book described the importance of helping members through career transitions. What can ALCTS do to this end?

- This is an especially important topic to address.
- We need to understand the needs of members throughout the different stages of their careers.
- It may be time to conduct a member survey to get at some of their issues. We haven’t conducted one in at least the last five years.
- The Membership Committee has a draft survey for members who drop their membership. Perhaps we institute it?
- ALA does non-renewal surveys
- We may want to hold online focus groups also.
- We need to reach people where they are, and remind them they can contribute to ALCTS without attending conference.
- How can ALCTS help new graduates? While the student membership rate is inexpensive ($15), attendance at conference is expensive.
- The number of library school students has dropped significantly since 2007 (21,000 to 15,000) but ALCTS could develop a mentor program that pairs students with veterans to help get the most out of their membership, including helping them with their job prospects.

Testimonials were discussed in the book as a means of attracting members. Given the “community” element we believe a distinctive feature of ALCTS, how could we employ testimonials as part of our marketing strategy?

- Might be something we could put up on YouTube or Instagram
- We have some personal videos already up on our YouTube channel.
- People are looking for a community. Getting the faces of the organization online might help compel library school students to join.
- Maybe we could do a “member of the week” along the lines of the “My ALCTS experience” column in the News.
- We need to figure out how the videos will be discoverable.
- We could tweet them.
- ALA has some video equipment we could use.
- Maybe we could set up a video station at ALCTSFest and get a few folks to volunteer to staff it.
- We need to connect with public librarians. Our continuing education is not addressing their needs.
- The CE committee has been working hard on developing more content for public librarians in technical services as PLA does not serve their needs.
- CRS has proposed an emerging leaders project for understanding the needs of public librarians with respect to serials/e-resources.

Slogans are another way to market one’s organization. The most memorable ones (M&Ms melt in your mouth, not in your hands; Taste great, less filling) really help to establish a brand. Should ALCTS seek to adopt such a slogan/tag line?

- The NASIG board work had a similar conversation because of their name. They were talking about a tag line. I think you need to know what you stand for.
- Maybe rather than a single slogan, we could develop several as ALCTS had many years ago (ALCTS collects; ALCTS selects; ALCTS protects)

Open discussion

- We need to market the approachability of ALCTS as a welcoming community.
- A possible slogan: ALCTS, a preservation acquisition tech place
- Some videos around volunteering with ALCTS would be great.
- Our lowest barrier to participation are interest groups. We need to market them as entry points.
- We could offer preservation master classes.
- We should pay particular attention to the mid-career folks (35-45 years old) who are becoming managers.