A Guide to Dues Reimbursement for your Employer
John Chrastka - Ala Manager for Membership Development
If you're not the only one benefiting from your association membership,
then why are you the only one paying for it?
Your library association membership isn't just valuable to you, it's valuable to your library, too. As a member, you know you receive top-quality professional publications, gain opportunities for essential continuing education, and have access to a unique set of resources to improve your own worklife. But is your employer aware of how these benefits can advance your entire library's mission and work?
By demonstrating how your library association membership improves your work, and therefore your workplace, you can encourage your employer to pay your association dues. Here are 4 simple steps to help you build a compelling case with your boss or board to pay for your professional memberships:
1. Make a list of all member benefits that directly AND indirectly benefit your library. We've included some ideas at the end of this article to help get you started.
2. Review your library's mission and strategic goals. Match up specific organizational or departmental objectives with association resources that help you meet those goals.
3. Talk with your supervisor about why membership has been valuable to you, and go through the list of ways that association benefits 'match' your library's goals.
4. Ask your supervisor to cover all or part of your library association dues as an investment in your own professional development, and as a benefit to the entire library.
Don't be shy. Remember, pennies a day in dues, your library gets a well-connected and informed staff member who is up-to-date on new trends around the library world and understands how the latest technology, legislative issues and new media affect your patrons. Plus, you get the personal bonus of an employer who understands and acknowledges this in a special way.
You know how important your membership is. Here are a few facts about membership benefits to share with your employer:
- Your membership will help you stay up to date with the latest news focused on the work you do every day through members-only publications, e-lists, and special interest sections.
- Members-only discounts on professional products and conference attendance. These discounts help the library stretch its budget for purchasing and continuing education.
- Your association offers grants, scholarships, and awards that can directly subsidize the library budget for conferences, continuing education, and special programs.
- You are eligible to serve on committees and work groups that set the course for the future of libraries. Boards and community leadership are proud of, and find added value in, staff members who are recognized by their peers for outstanding service.
- Your own staff development goals can be enhanced through the continuing education, skills training, and mentoring programs offered by the association. Plus, you bring back new ideas to your coworkers from every outside training.
- Members have unique opportunities to contribute articles, propose new publications, become a reviewer and bring your library's best-practices to a new audience. This brings recognition to your library in the wider community of professionals.