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Why we pay dues (or don’t) – membership in professional organizations


I asked a question (and shared my answer) here, back in September: why do (or don’t) you pay dues to professional organizations? I got answers about a wide variety of associations, but my particular interests were the American Library Association and state library associations. I got more comments than I usually do, but still not a very large number. They brought up some great points, though, and wanting to get more input, I asked again on Twitter (twice — thanks to Natalie Binder for letting me use #libchat for this discussion!). Here’s a Storify story, showing what Twitter had to say.

Also, because there’s a pretty big, opinionated, engaged group of people available right there, I asked the question in the ALA Think Tank and got numerous replies. And, although I didn’t start this particular fire, I think this ALA Think Tank conversation from a few days later is also relevant. (Thanks, JP!)

I feel like it’s important to share the conversation, so far, so that people can read it themselves and come to their own conclusions, but for those who don’t like disjointed social media comments (and because I said I would), I also went through it all and tried to capture individual themes and count the comments related to them. I’ve written up what I noticed, and along the way I’ve done my best to emphasize comments that were oft-repeated, and to share my suggestions—and pass on the suggestions of others—for various associations. Because it got very, very long, I’m doing this whole thing as a 5-part series, of which this is part one. I’ll make two posts tomorrow and two on Thursday, in the hopes that everyone who wants to discuss this will have the opportunity to do so before the weekend starts and we all get distracted by non-library life.

The whole series:

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