Unemployed? Special ALA Membership Rates Do Exist

October 29, 2009

How do you maximize the value of membership in the American Library Association during tough financial times? I’ve had several discussions with ALA staff recently, prompted by communications I’ve received from non-members who are exasperated by the employment prospects in the field or frustrated about just exactly how they are supposed to pay membership dues when they are unemployed or afraid of losing their jobs.

While ALA has member retention rates that are the envy of the association world, it does trouble me and many members of the ALA staff that the benefits of membership are not obvious to all library professionals. If they aren’t, however, I have to believe that it isn’t because they don’t exist, it is more likely because we haven’t communicated them as effectively as we should.

Do you know, for example, that ALA has a special membership category at $46 for non-salaried library employees who make less than $25,000 a year or are unemployed? I’m committed to making American Libraries a better communicator of the benefits of membership in ALA, but in the meantime, here is a link to membership at reduced rates, which also includes the $46 rate for support staff and retirees.

ALA does important work. If I didn’t believe that, I wouldn’t be here. But ALA is its members, and we the staff and member leaders need your support, at whatever rate you can afford, in order to do that work. If you can afford zero dollars, your moral support matters too. I’m curious about what else ALA should be doing to strengthen its value to members who are going through a job crisis, and I welcome your comments.


Maggie Stiefvater interview

Maggie Stiefvater, author of "Shiver" and "Lament," sits down with Booklist to talk about the challenges of writing paranormal fiction, the strangeness of being called a romance writer, and who would win in a no-holds-barred cage match between homicidal faeries and love-struck werewolves. Also, she shows off the sketch book that has her in trouble with the Department of Homeland Security.