Submitted: March 17, 2001
Outgoing Chair, Katherine Poole
1-508-788-6260; FAX 1-508-788-6260
The Committee was chaired this year by Katherine Poole who resigned on Feb. 12, 2000. Leslie Lowe Preston has agreed to be Incoming Chair for 2001.
Membership comprises a mix of past and new members. Links to other ARLIS/NA committees continued with Gladys Markoff-Sotomayor, Co-Chair of the Diversity Commmittee, and continuing member Paula Epstein’s role as Chair of the North American Relations Committee. New member, Irene Puchalski, has the distinction of being the only committee member from Canada.
Objective C: Increase communication and networking
Links within ARLIS/NA are strengthened with the responsibility of continuing committee member, Paula Epstein, incoming chair of the North American Relations Committee, and new committee member, Gladys Markoff-Sotomayor, co-chair of the 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
Membership Database & Reports; 2000/2001 Handbook
Work during 2000 concentrated on the fundamentals as per the March 18, 2000 business meeting when it was agreed that it was critical to focus energies on the traditional membership activities this year in order to ensure smooth functioning during the period of transition between Headquarters management firms.
This year particular attention and much time was directed towards authentication of the Membership database. Katy Poole reviewed and analyzed the existing membership database inherited from ADI and contributed detailed recommendations to Carole Goldsmith, the Executive Board and Headquarters on the kind of functionality, reports and data field requirements for this membership database to adequately serve the membership aspects of the Society. Typical membership reports include: the significant job entailed by the production of the Handbook (comprised of several indexes); the renewal mass mailing that features individualized member forms; non-renewal lists sorted variously (by ARLIS/NA chapter; telephone area code); and a report that cross checks ARLIS/NA Society membership with ARLIS/NA chapter memberships. Many other necessary reports were also identified, such as those related to the annual conference, publications and other Society functions. The main thrust of the recommendation emphasized the critical need that membership information be available to the Society and the Committee as timely standardized, and occasionally customized, database reports and data files to ensure up-to-date accuracy, reduce time-consuming manual work and to facilitate all the Society’s efforts.
Normally, the production of the annual Handbook does not actively involve the Membership Committee. But since the production of the Handbook derives from the membership database and this year was a year of Headquarters transition, the Membership Committee participated in the process. K. Poole worked with Kathryn Wayne, Past President and Handbook editor, to review and identify any problems with the inherited database in order to facilitate the data migration from ADI’s Filemaker Pro-based database to CMS’ Access-based offices. Unfortunately, the notebook made available at the Vancouver conference for members to update their Handbook entries was not forwarded to CMS during the transition. Fortunately, Wayne’s personally updated copy of the 1999 Handbook proved invaluable, as did the ARLIS-L Archives, in providing directory changes.
Throughout the summer and fall Headquarters repeatedly rebuilt the database; Handbook drafts were extensively reviewed and corrections made by Poole and Wayne were forwarded to Headquarters for publication production and updates to the database. However, numerous errors in the drafts of the Institutional and Geographical Indexes prompted an EB approved decision not to include these indexes in the 2000/2001 Handbook in addition to the previously agreed upon exclusion of the indexes for the Sections, Divisions and Round Tables. The original summer 2000 timetable for printing and delivery of the Handbook continued to slip as several Headquarters staff worked many, many hours to create the publication without a viable Access database, instead reformatting data using Excel and then Word files. Headquarters also took the initiative to decide to include the Institutional and Geographical Indexes resulting in further delays and costs. The Handbook was produced and delivered to the members in mid-December. As per an earlier discussion with the Membership Committee, a change of address form was inserted in the Handbook to facilitate directory updates.
Membership Form & Brochure Revisions
The Committee spent considerable time on this year’s revision of the membership form in accordance with input from a variety of sources including: Goldsmith; the EB, in particular, Wayne; Headquarters; and the Cultural Diversity, Development and Publications Committees. All form content was reviewed and several changes were made to bring the document into compliance with the Bylaws, in particular, a July 2000 Bylaw change “Increasing the Basic Business Affiliate membership fees to $135.00/year, to take effect as of FY2001” and the free privileges allowed for membership categories. The new form combines the application, renewal and directory change processes per last year's business meeting decision to simplify the process of application and renewal as well as the management of the annual update. Leslie Preston created the initial redesign of the new form and incorporated the ARLIS/NA color logo. The revision was reviewed and approved by the EB in November 2000. A pdf version of the form was created and replaced the older version on the ARLIS/NA Web Site and the link to the form was moved to the top of the Membership page for greater ease of use.
Preparation of this year’s membership mailing included several pieces which were assembled as a packet and mailed in mid-December. Poole drafted a cover letter and developed a Membership Facts Sheets based on the Bylaws. Traditionally a renewal notice with a member’s current directory and membership class information is included allowing for quick review and updating of this information. However, this was not possible this year due to the incomplete state of the database and, therefore, blank membership forms were substituted. During the form’s many revisions a regrettable and accidental oversight resulted in several ARLIS/NA chapters being omitted from the approved form. Upon notification of the error, the form was corrected, re-created as a pdf document and uploaded to the ARLIS/NA Web Site, and an announcement to that effect posted by Poole to ARLIS-L on Jan. 18, 2001. Renewal reminder notices were posted to ARLIS-L alerting members to the March 1 deadline and Canadian postage rates.
Aside from the membership form, Poole drafted and forwarded to Goldsmith in August a revision of the membership brochure reflecting the new headquarters contact information as well as several other changes. Due to time constraints this draft was not reviewed during the EB meeting on Sept. 22, 2000. Consulted with North American Relations Committee Chair, Paula Epstein, and one chapter, ARLIS/NE, on brochure requirements in order to gauge the optimal quantity of printed brochures.
New Business: ARLIS/NA Benefits Analysis
vs. Membership Satisfaction
The Vancouver Conference offered several opportunities to discuss and analyze the benefits of ARLIS/NA membership and the satisfaction of Society members, in particular during the Strategic Plan sessions. More specifically, member satisfaction issues were addressed this year when Charter Member, Herbert G. Scherer, contacted Committee member, Sandra Rothenberg, regarding some concerns with his ARLIS/NA membership. In reviewing and handling his requests with Karen McKenzie, President, the EB approved a Bylaw amendment proposal to establish a Honorary Life Membership class. Thus Motion #9 was developed into the Election Ballot that was included in the Dec. 12, 2000 “membership matters” mailing. The ARLIS/NA membership overwhelmingly approved this proposed amendment (Yes=287; No=2) which is now Bylaw Article II. Section 2. D. as follows: “Special membership class, with no geographical limitations, which is an honorary Life Membership awarded to winners of the Distinguished Service Award, Charter Members of ARLIS/NA and to other individuals at the discretion of the Executive Board with all the privileges appertaining thereto.”
New directions to promote membership application and renewal were explored with special emphasis on the potential of Internet technology via the ARLIS/NA Web Site, the ARLIS/NA Website. The optimal positioning of membership information coupled with the implementation of online services are primary examples of methods likely to facilitate application, renewal and directory change activities for current and prospective members. Examples of online membership processes at other professional library organizations’ websites, for example ALA, were reviewed and collected.
Agreed that prioritization of the many Committee projects would facilitate the best use of members’ time and efforts. Prioritized items include: authentication of membership database and necessary reports; revision, printing and distribution of membership brochure; notification and implementation of new membership class--Honorary Life Membership; clarification of ARLIS/NA affiliation responsibilities and reporting requirements (for example, CAA); revision and posting of recruitment ads; revision of membership form (as needed); implementation of online functionality for membership application, renewal and directory changes on the ARLIS/NA Web Site; procedure for non-renewals; and networking with liaisons and chapters.
A renewed primary goal is the authentication of the membership database in conjunction with the development and testing of the requisite standard queries and reports needed by the Society. A functioning, accurate membership database is key to the achievement of successful membership operations, such as renewals & non-renewals, handling and tracking the new Honorary Life Membership class, etc., and critical for the work of the Membership Committee.
Issues for the Executive Board
Clearly, this has been an intense and interesting year of transition and redefinition. As roles and priorities continue to evolve in the coming year, the Committee recommends developing realistic priorities and looks forward to a coordinated effort with effective communication between the EB, CMS and the Committee on membership issues and action items.
ARLIS/NA Membership Committee: Members 2000-2001 (Revised 3/17/01)
Executive Board Liaison: Carole Goldsmith
Incoming Chair Leslie Lowe Preston
Librarian, Robert Goldwater Library
Dept. of Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas
Metropolitan Museum of Art
1000 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10028-0198
W: (212) 650-2317
Outgoing Chair Katherine K. Poole
2 Central Street
Saxonville, MA 01701
W: (508) 788-6260; FAX (508) 788-6233
Members Paula Epstein
Co-ordinator of Library Outreach
600 S. Michigan
Chicago, IL 60605-1996
W: (312) 344-7353; FAX 312-663-1707
Executive Librarian, Jen Library
Savannah College of Art and Design
201 East Broughton St.
Savannah, GA 31401
W: (912) 525-4702
Columbia University Libraries
320 Butler Library, 535 West 114th St.
New York, NY 10027
W: (212) 854-4881; 854-7564
Shore + Moffat Library
Faculty of Architecture, Landscape & Design
University of Toronto
230 College Street
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Tel: (416) 978-6786; FAX (416) 971-2094
Henry Whittemore Library
Framingham State College
100 State St.
Framingham, MA 01701-9101
W: (508) 626-4661