Membership Advisory Group – July–December 2024 Report

The group met 2-3 times this reporting period.

After reviewing the current PLA Strategic Plan, please tell us:

Describe the current work of this committee and how it supports our strategic goals. Include work accomplished, decisions made, and any recommended follow-up actions.
The current work of this group is to develop new membership and create engagement to retain membership in PLA. The work of the Membership Advisory Group is integral to the strategic plan because our goal is to create lifelong members who actively engage with the association. This year we sent personal emails to all new members welcoming them to the organization, highlighting professional development opportunities and other benefits for membership. Advisory Group members manned the information desk during ALA Annual in Chicago answering questions, promoting membership and PLA Conference. The group is currently working on passive engagement activities to be available at the conference lounge in Columbus.

We also have continued division member representation on the ALA Membership Promotion Task Force and Co-chair Meredith McCarthy has volunteered to serve as part of the ALA Workgroup for Standardization of Division Membership Dues as a division member representative.

Do you see opportunities to better align committee work with those goals?
The committee has discussed opportunities to be more involved with promoting active participation in PLA by both new and existing PLA members such as more openness regarding volunteer opportunities and clarity / less jargon being used to indicate the charges and activities of different organizational units. We would like to be part of the transformation of PLA to a more inclusive organization by examining and removing potential roadblocks to that participation.

What recommendations do you have for in-coming committee members? Are there particular streams of
work in progress to be carried over into the new committee year?
(January–June reporting period only)
Writing personal emails to new members helps create engagement and truly welcomes new members and we would recommend continuing the practice next year. The biggest challenge is engaging members to remain members in non-conference years. We would suggest continuing to be creative while looking for opportunities for new members to become involved and volunteer.

What specific activities will this committee undertake over the next six months to support that alignment? (July–December reporting period only)

Are there other PLA or ALA committees whose partnership and collaboration would accelerate meeting PLA strategic goals?
The Professional Development Advisory Group provides many no/ low cost trainings that provide a great value added resource for members. We also believe there are opportunities to partner with the Leadership Development Committee to promote opportunities to develop new leaders from new members.

Is there anything else about your committee experience you’d like to share?
We have a wonderful team of diverse library workers representing libraries big and small across the country who enjoy being integral to the member experience at PLA. Samantha Lopez is a wonderful staff liaison and excels at being very informative while also giving us the room to be creative with our ideas.

Submitted by Meredith McCarthy / Sarah Tansley on 01/09/2024