Organizational Dues Restructure Proposal 2013

This short video explains the entire proposal in under four minutes.


The Proposal

New York’s largest libraries, with budgets over $3M, represent over ten percent of public libraries / library systems.  Under this proposal, we are asking them to contribute at a higher level to support the services that NYLA delivers to all members. (81 of 756)

Libraries, with budgets under $50K would see a reduction in their dues rate, from $100, to $50.  Libraries, with budgets between $50K - $100K would see a reduction in their dues rate, from $100, to $75.  Over one third of all public libraries in New York State have budgets below $100K.  (262 of 756)  The goal of this reduction is to lower the burden of participation for these small libraries, and thereby increase the number of members.

Currently, each organizational membership designates one individual to serve as the organizational representative, receiving the full rights and privileges associated with individual membership (including voting for the organization).  Under this proposal, libraries would receive a block of individual memberships for assignment to individuals at their organization.  The number of ‘associate’ memberships is determined on a sliding scale based on the library’s budget.  One individual would continue to be named as the organization’s designated representative, serve as the primary contact for the membership, and the primary section chosen by this individual will receive a dues allocation of $20.  These bundles of associate members are intended to serve as an offset for the increase in dues.


Associate Memberships

The bundled associate memberships connected to organizational membership function as regular individual memberships, (including voting rights) with their expiration date being directly tied to the organization’s expiration date.
Associate members will be able to select their own primary section, independent from the organizations selection.

The proposed bundle of associate memberships is a fixed minimum number based on the dues categories.  No refunds or credits will be issued for unused associate memberships.  Unassigned associate memberships at the time of initial membership order (or renewal) will remain available for assignment by the organization’s designated representative at any time during the organization’s dues term.  Associate membership may be assigned to any individual associated with the organization, including librarians, support staff, administrative staff, board members or friends.

Should an organizational member wish to purchase additional associate memberships, (beyond the number bundled with their dues,) they may do so at the rate of $75 per associate membership.  Regardless of the time that additional associate memberships are purchased, all will retain the same expiration date of the organizational membership under which they fall.  No pro-rating of dues will be offered.  When an associate membership is added ‘mid-term’ to an organizational membership, the primary section dues allocation disbursements of $20 will be issued.


Current NYLA Organizational Dues Structure

Library Budget

Dues Rate

Number of Designated Representatives

$1 - $250K



$250K - $500K



$500K - $1M



$1M - $3M



$3M and above




Proposed NYLA Organizational Dues Structure

Library Budget

Dues Rate

Designated Representative / Number of Associate Members

$1 - $50K



$50K - $100K



$100K - $500K


1 / 1

$500K - $1M


1 / 3

$1M - $3M


1 / 7

$3M - $10M


1 / 14

$10M +


1 / 24



Since 2009 NYLA has recognized the trustees of library / library system members as non-voting members.  This practice would continue under this proposal.  Should a library opt to appoint its associate memberships to trustees, those individuals would receive voting rights.



The NYLA Membership Committee, along with some additional ad hoc members from the NYLA Council, is being asked to review and discuss this proposal.  Once consensus is reached on the points of the proposal a recommendation will be made to the NYLA Council on further action.  Should the proposal be deemed actionable, the required revisions to the NYLA bylaws would be drafted and put up for approval at the September Annual Membership meeting.  Any approved dues changes would take effect no sooner than January 1, 2014.


Frequently Asked Questions

Below are responses to the questions that have been submitted regarding the proposal. As questions are received, details will be posted here.

How will these changes impact on NYLA Sections?

The primary section membership for associate members must be assigned at the time the initial membership order (or renewal) is processed; and the primary section will receive $20 for each associate membership.  Organizational members are able to ‘reassign’ associate membership throughout the year, but these changes will not result in adjustments to primary section dues allocations.  (i.e. a staff member leaves and the library reassigns the membership to a different staff member.)  Associate members are eligible to purchase additional sections and roundtables (who bears the responsibility for payment of these dues is up to the individual libraries to determine).

How will this proposal impact individual membership dues?

It will not.  This proposal makes changes ONLY to the dues of organization members or the library / library system type.

The number of associate memberships bundled at my libraries dues rate exceeds what I have need for.  Can I get a rebate?

No - the bundle of associate memberships are fixed a no rebate is offered for unassigned associates.  We recommend considering assigning them to your trustees.  If that is unworkable, you may opt to join at a lower dues rate with bundle of associates that better fits your needs.

If individuals are 'given' associate memberships from their employers, what is the potential impact on individual membership numbers?

We anticipate that this proposal will create a significant increase in NYLA membership numbers.  The dues rates charged will more than balance out any lost income from moving the responsible party from the individual to the organization.  Currently there are many more non-NYLA members employed by libraries than members.

Could a school library system join as an organizational member and assign its associate memberships out to individual school librarians?

Yes. With the understanding that all associates will have the same expiration date, and will be recognized as being associated with the organizational member who 'owns' the membership.  (John Doe is an Associate of XYZ School Library System; as opposed to John Doe, Anytown Public School District)