Library/Library System Dues Restructure

At the Annual Membership Meeting at this year’s conference, NYLA members voted to approve changes to the dues structure for organizational members.

These revisions will reduce dues for the smallest libraries, and increase dues for those with budgets of $100K or more.  To balance the increase in dues, the proposal calls for organizations to receive a bundle of individual memberships, in proportion to their budget size.

The new dues rates will take effect on all new and renewing library and library system organizational memberships beginning January 1, 2014. 

Restructure Details

New York’s largest libraries, with budgets over $3M, represent over ten percent of public libraries / library systems.  They will be contributing a higher level to support the services that NYLA delivers to all members.

Libraries with budgets over $3M will se an increase in dues.  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.

Under the previous organizational membership, one individual was designated to serve as the organizational representative, receiving the full rights and privileges associated with individual membership (including voting for the organization).  With the new organizational membership, libraries will 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 will 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 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.  Just as with individual memberships, no refunds will be issued for associate memberships.  Should an employee who holds an associate membership leave the library, the library may re-assign that associate membership to another employee.  Request for reassignment of an associate membership must be made in writing to the NYLA office, and are only granted when an employee leaves the library.

Associate Member Worksheet (PDF)
Use this form to collect membership details from those who you will be assigning associate members to before completing your order to ensure you have all the necessary details. (optional)


"Old" NYLA Library/Library System Dues Structure

Library Budget

Dues Rate

Number of Designated Representatives

$1 - $250K



$250K - $500K



$500K - $1M



$1M - $3M



$3M and above




New NYLA Library/Library System 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 will continue under the new system.  Should a library opt to appoint its associate memberships to trustees, those individuals would receive voting rights.

Frequently Asked Questions

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 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 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)