ALA Council approves dues increase proposal

Contact: Larra Clark

Media Relations Manager

For Immediate Release
January 24, 2006

ALA Council approves dues increase proposal

(CHICAGO) The American Library Association (ALA) Council voted to place a proposal to increase personal membership dues on the ALA spring ballot during the Midwinter Meeting in San Antonio.

“It’s been 11 years since the last dues increase. Then, as now, we had a mandate from membership to implement an ambitious strategic plan,” said ALA President Michael Gorman. “The dues increase is needed to keep ALA moving forward.”

ALA Executive Director Keith Michael Fiels explained the increase will support the association’s new strategic plan ALA Ahead to 2010. Developed with input from more than 20,000 members, the plan has a special focus on advocacy, including building public awareness of the value of libraries and librarians, research to document the value of libraries, legislative advocacy at the national level and support for grassroots advocacy at the state and local levels. It also calls for the association to strengthen its efforts in key areas such as in core areas such as intellectual freedom, literacy, diversity, equitable access to information and continuing education.

Noting that the ALA budget has been flat for five years, ALA Treasurer Terri Switzer said, “We have reached our financial limit. It’s imperative that we pass the dues increase. ALA cannot be all the things we want it to be if we don’t step up to the plate.”

The ALA Executive Board approved the recommendation from the Budget Analysis and Review Committee (BARC) in October. The proposal calls for an increase of $10 per year over a three-year period for ALA regular members. Members paying $35 or $45 would see an increase of approximately $10 over three years. The salary threshold for a lower dues rate also would be increased from $20,000 to $25,000. If approved by members, the changes would go into effect in September 2006. ALA also will provide an option for installment payments by credit card.

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