Recruit, retain, recreate!

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Since I don't know if I'll be reappointed to the Membership Committee next year (though I have asked--feel free to lobby on my behalf, as I'd like to continue!), I figured I'd share the information I've found about mentoring programs for new librarians.

On the national level, the ALA New Members Round Table has a very active mentoring program, including both conference and career mentoring. The conference mentoring program started several years ago, and the career mentoring program is in its early stages. The program has been very successful thus far, and each year they have had more volunteers as mentors as well as mentees. Their web site has a variety of documents, including volunteer applications, descriptions of the program, and testimonials. If we're looking for a model for an ILA mentoring program, NMRT would be a good one. (As an aside, I'm very involved with NMRT, and I'm running for Vice President/President-Elect this year.)

The South Carolina Library Association's New Members Round Table has a mentoring program as well. They based their program on the NMRT program. 2005 was their first year, and they had some good results, although it seems that their program is off to a slow start. (From my experience, that's not unusual with mentoring programs--it takes time to get the word out, and they tend to grow each year.) Based on their brochure (in .pdf format), they promote their mentoring program as a benefit of membership. It would probably be too soon for them to tell if the mentoring program has boosted SCLA membership, but I do believe it would be an excellent benefit for students and new librarians. Some of the other programs that the SCLA NMRT offers for new members are also worth a look, particularly their writing/presentation award.

The Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) also has a successful mentoring program in place. According to Fiona Bradley, ALIA started with career mentoring, since they found that many new/early-career librarians do not attend their conference, and because face-to-face communication isn't necessary for career mentoring. (They also have a biennial conference specifically designed for early-career librarians.) ALIA has put together some excellent guidelines for mentors and mentees--some of the best I've seen. They advertise their program in the usual places--electronic discussion lists, state association newsletters, and the ALIA publication. They structured their program based on other programs, including the ALA NMRT program, and they found that ten pairs of mentors/mentees was the optimal size for their organization.

I think a mentoring program would be very successful for ILA. I'd really like to take a lead role on this, if you're willing to let me. I would like to do some further research before a program is set, but I think it would be wonderful to have a pilot in place for the 2006 ILA conference. Please let me know what you think!

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Hello everyone,

Here's our to-do list. Am thinking we should discuss via this blog, make some decisions, divvy up the duties, etc. Please comment.

Am thinking that anything we need to run past the Board should be run past Bob first. Perhaps talk with Bob over the phone and then draft a list of suggestions for the Board.

Keeping existing members - incentives
1. Give a prize for continuous membership at 5, 10, 15, etc. years. - Gotta suggest a prize and run this past the Board.
2. Do a social event. - If it's dutch treat, the committee could organize an upstate and a downstate social event. Will this be attended, i.e. will people travel to get there and pay a fee to attend? We don't have to ask the Board about this, my gut tells me they won't fund it. Maybe find a donor?
3. Send a welcome letter to new members with info on how to get involved. - Committee drafts, office sends.
4. Pair new members with a seasoned member as a mentor. - Committee organizes.

Recruiting new members - incentives
1. Lower student dues. - Gotta suggest a level and run this past the Board.
2. New dues category for support staff. - Suggest a level and run this past the Board.
3. A prize to the member who recruits the most new members. - Suggest a prize (hotel or registration at conference?) and run it past the Board.
4. Provide a New Member ribbon for name tags at the conference.

Other incentives
1. Students who work the conference get their registration free (or paid by a donor ) - run past the Board.
2. Provide a Student ribbon for name tags at the conference..
3. Rewrite the brochure. - Jocelyn is working on this.
4. Create a traveling exhibit, ask for donors to fund. - run this past the Board.
5. Arrange and cover promotional booths at library events.
6. Figure out a way to convince members that they should recruit new members at their places of employment.
7. Coupons for prizes.

1. Institutional members. - Tim is working on this.
2. Academic people. - Jocelyn is working on this.
3. Public library people. - Amy is working on this.
Re: these three items: Tim, Jocelyn and Amy are coordinating this effort. They may/will need help in making contacts and writing letters.

New Member Reception at the conference - I'm working on this.
1. New members being 0-5 years.
2. Schedule at a no conflict time so ILA leadership can attend.
3. Finger food and milling.
Re: this item: I've already talked with Cindy and she thinks it's doable. Will be following up.

Conference program
1. The Membership Committee is requested to sponsor/organize one program for the 2006 conference. Any ideas?
2. Maybe also in addition do a poster session to promote forum/committee involvement??

Am I missing anything?


Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Hello everyone,

I wanted to both e-mail and post to the Blog the notes from our meeting to be sure you-all received them today but, I can't figure out how to copy the e-mail to the Blog so, check your e-mail for the notes.

I've got some follow-up questions:

Tim, re: your recruiting Sarah Long, Ken Gross and Shirley Mae Byrnes to sign testimonial letters. Are the letters being written and if so, are they doing the writing? If we're doing the writing, will one draft work for all three or do we need to draft individual letters for each? And if the latter, would you like help?

Kristy, re: Reaching Forward North and South. Do you need help staffing the booths? Have the RF people given you any ideas on what incentives they'd like?

Jocelyn and Amy, please keep us posted on how it's going with recruiting testimonial signers for your respective areas. If you need help drafting letters, please ask.

Kim, I'll be in touch with you concerning our approaching the Board about:
Lowering dues for students.
Can we ask vendors for money to create a travelling promotional item.
A prize for the member who recruites the most new members - either conference hotel or registration.
Suggesting students who volunteer to work the conference registration desk be given a free registration to the conference.
Providing a prize/incentive for continuing members at 5 yrs, 10 yrs, etc.

Everyone, How are we doing at this point? Is there anything else we need to discuss now?

Thanks -- lad

Monday, October 24, 2005

Perk for most new members

Hello Tim,

Thank you for your note.

It was great seeing you in Peoria too. Yes, we will consider the sponsorship as you outlined below. Also, I am copying my colleague Maureen Scully on this response. Again, thanks for the time we spent together and I hope to see you again soon.

Best regards,
Otis Foster Account Executive, Field Sales Academic Research Libraries Thomson Gale

Tim Jarzemsky [] Sent: Wednesday, October 19, 2005 5:30 PMTo: otis.foster@gale.comCc: kristy@ila.orgSubject: ILA membership committee "donation"

Dear Otis,

It was great seeing you in Peoria. As I discussed with you and Maureen Scully I am currently working on the ILA membership committee. The committee is exploring ways to increase membership and to increase benefits to current members. Our latest brain storm is a perk for the ILA member who gets the most fellow librarians to join ILA as new members (no renewals).

The prize would be one paid admission to the next ILA conference in Chicago for the current member who brings in the most new members. The ILA staff could track the statistics – Thomason Gale would simply pay the conference fee. I am not sure what ILA 2006 will cost but ILA 2005 cost $175. This could be a win for Thomson Gale as you would get positive PR out of the contest. Let me know if this is something you would consider. Thanks and stay in touch.

Ps. go white Sox!!

Friday, September 30, 2005

Hi Nanette -

I think we're definitely going to meet during the conference; Larry and I are working on a meeting time and date and will post something soon!


Wednesday, September 28, 2005

I'm trying to put together my schedule for ILA, and I was wondering if the Membership Committee will be meeting. If so, when and where?


Thursday, September 01, 2005

Hello everyone,

Update on what's going on with Michael Gorman's letter:

1. Kristy has compiled the mailing list and it's ready to go.

2. Bob/Kristy have printed the letter on ALA stationary.

3. Bob will send to Michael for his signature.

4. The finished letter should be in the mail sometime next week.

5. We are on schedule.