Membership Pro Tip: ‘ReMember’ Peers in Troubled Times

The American Library Association’s ReMember Fund enables library workers who are currently unemployed to retain membership and stay connected to ALA’s vital resources and peer network.

A new program of the American Library Association will help members hold on to their membership in ALA during a difficult time for the profession. It’s also a strategy for long-term member retention and engagement.

How does it work?

Unemployed library workers can apply to receive a one-time sponsorship to cover basic ALA membership for one year. Established with initial funding from ALA, the fund will sponsor at least 100 regular memberships beginning in May. The sponsorship of additional memberships will be contingent on donations from members after the program launches. Sponsorship will apply to members who hold current regular, international, library support staff, or non-salaried membership types and will extend to members whose memberships have lapsed within the last three years.

Why is it effective?

The ReMember Fund is a membership retention strategy, which is why it is limited to current or recently lapsed members, says Melissa Walling, CAE, ALA’s director of members relations and services.

Walling’s team looked at membership trends over the past year to guide the program requirements. They noted that student members had been increasing in spite of the pandemic, so they kept the program geared for library worker professional members only. “We wanted to focus our efforts on the areas of greatest need,” she says.

What is the benefit?

Since the beginning of the pandemic, ALA has offered a lot of flexible options to all members, including extended grace periods, installment billing, and non-salaried membership rates. “We felt like we needed to do more—especially as we were hearing from current members that they wanted to help others,” Walling says.

The ReMember Fund is an ideal solution for engaging current members who want to support their peers and for current members who need additional assistance. “We want to create a career-long relationship with our members—and support them during the highs and the lows,” she says.

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Lisa Boylan

By Lisa Boylan

Lisa Boylan is a senior editor of Associations Now. MORE

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