Membership Committee Business Meeting
March 18, 2000
Art Libraries Society of North America 28th Annual Conference, Pittsburgh, PA
Committee Members Present: Katy Poole (Chair), Gladys Markoff-Sotomayor, Leslie Howe Preston, Sandra Rothenberg (Recorder)
EB Members Present: Peter Blank (Liaison); Carole Goldsmith (Incoming Liaison)
Poole brought the business meeting to order and briefly reviewed the status
of committee efforts during the past year as per the relevant Strategic
Plan items and as noted in the Annual Report.
Objective C: Increase communication and networking
Links within ARLIS/NA are strengthened with the new responsibility of continuing
committee member, Paula Epstein, incoming chair of NARC, and new committee
member, Gladys Markoff-Sotomayor, co-chair of the Cultural Diversity Committee.
The ongoing program of reciprocal posting of information and recruitment
ads of ARLIS/NA on VRA-L and vice versa proceeded this year with full endorsement
by both organizations.
Objective D: Increase membership and cultural diversity
Membership Database & Reports; Form & Brochure Revisions
Reviewed work to date and agreed that it was critical to focus energies on
the traditional membership activities in order to ensure smooth functioning
during this period of transition between headquarters management firms.
This year particular attention should be directed towards authentication
of the Membership database. Conference attendees are being requested to
ascertain their information and to provide any changes in order to facilitate
this process. The Committee can contribute recommendations on the kind of
data fields, reports and functionality required in this database to serve
the membership aspects of the Society. Typical membership reports would
include a list of non-renewals sorted in various and a report which cross
checks A/NA Society membership with A/NA members’ memberships in other professional
organizations, such as ALA, SLA and VRA. It is critical that information
be available to the Committee as database reports and data files to reduce
time-consuming manual work and to facilitate the Committee’s efforts.
The Committee revisited this year's annual revision of the membership form
that had been revised to incorporate requests from the Cultural Diversity
Committee and the Publications Committee. It included questions to survey
the membership and discover what language skill members possess as well
as membership response to the availability of ARLIS/NA publications in electronic
form vs. print. The form combined both the application form and the renewal
form in accordance with agreement at last year's business meeting to simplify
the process of application and renewal as well as the management of the
annual update. This form was reviewed by the EB prior to the Conference
and Blank shared their observations and suggestions to further streamline
In particular, the issue of survey questions was raised and discussed by
the Committee. Since there is no official procedure or venue for handling
membership surveys in the past it had seemed convenient to include such
questions on a form with the annual exposure of the membership form. Ultimately,
it was agreed that this form is not the appropriate medium for surveys at
this time and, therefore, survey questions as well as the "Special Skills"
section will be deleted. However, there is concern that it is important
to be able to poll the membership on a variety of issues and certainly the
question of how best to handle surveys will need to be addressed in the
future. Goldsmith volunteered to raise this concern with the EB.
Along with the membership form, the Committee discussed the necessity for
revision of the membership brochure to reflect the new headquarters contact
The Committee has undertaken the development of an effective procedure for
addressing the annual non-renewals, an estimated 100-200. While past renewal
mailings have generally not been successful, a third renewal mailing will
be mailed after the conference. Last year the Committee developed a plan
to seek Chapter assistance in updating the status of non-renewals which
would aid in clarification of the membership database. Blank noted that
requests to ADI for database files of non-renewals should be made before
New Business: A/NA Benefits Analysis vs. Membership Satisfaction
The Pittsburgh Conference offered several informal opportunities to discuss
and analyze the benefits of ARLIS/NA membership and the satisfaction of
Society members, in particular the Strategic Plan sessions. Observed that
the annual conference is the major Society activity and fund-raiser. The
conference attracts some attendees who join just for the conference, but
don’t renew. Other membership benefits include: A/NA Publications (Art Documentation;
Update; Web site) as well as the sharing and consultation that takes place
on ARLIS-L. Future activities might encompass videoconferences and activities
tied with the Strategic Plan.
New directions to promote membership application and renewal were discussed
with special emphasis on the potential of Internet technology via the ARLIS/NA
Website. The optimal positioning of membership information coupled with
the implementation of online services were primary examples of methods likely
to facilitate application and renewal activities for current and prospective
Agreed that prioritization of the many Committee projects would facilitate
best use of members’ time and efforts. Priority items include: authentication
of membership database; revision of membership forms and brochure; procedure
for non-renewals; and networking with liaisons and chapters.
--Minutes recorder: Sandra Rothenberg; revision: Katherine Poole.