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CRD Membership Survey-PaLA Membership

July 30, 2012

What do you see as primary benefits of PaLA membership?

Most people who responded to the CRD Membership Survey indicated that either networking (41%) or professional development (31%) were the primary benefits of PaLA membership. Many often combined networking with professional development.

Other benefits mentioned were presenting at conference and workshops, advocating for PA libraries, opportunities for leadership, committee work, service to the profession, and resume building.

Why did you initially join?

Only about 15 people responded to this question, but about half of them joined to support Pennsylvania libraries and the library profession.  Five joined when they moved to Pennsylvania. Other reasons included the opportunity for service to profession, opportunities for volunteering that would help with faculty promotion, and to get a discounted rate at conference. One joined when selected to attend PALS and one joined in grad school.

Is there a reason why you are not a member of PaLA?

Cost of membership was a significant factor. One person stated, “The academic alignment hasn’t been enough to overcome the really very expensive membership cost.” There were a variety of other reasons why people said that they are not PaLA members including the fact that they belong to other (mostly national) organizations, redundancy, spreading self too thin, and the relevance of PaLA membership, which seems more applicable to public libraries.

Some people forgot to join and/or renew. One person thinks that “New members not welcome,” but admits that this perspective is from 40 years ago! Another person states, “My institution is a member.” Or, “My institution used to pay for my membership.” Several said either that they were not PA residents or that they were retiring soon.

And some people said that PaLA wasn’t relevant, that the program content “doesn’t meet my needs,” that the organization provides nothing for cataloging/metadata librarians. Several  indicated that their local chapters were not very active.

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