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MLA’s Membership Makeover

Remember those new MLA bylaws you voted on this spring and summer? It’s time for you to start seeing the results of those changes in a big way.

One of the goals of the new bylaws was to allow more flexibility in MLA’s membership structure, so that the board (elected by you) could make choices like offering reduced membership pricing. These are the changes to membership you’ll see for 2017:

  • We’ve created a new membership category for those from HINARI-eligible countries ($25). This worthy idea came from the International Cooperation Section, but was challenging to implement under the previous bylaws.
  • For the low salary category, we’ve raised the salary ceiling from $35k to $40k per year to allow more to qualify
  • We’ve added a new unemployed membership category at $50 for one consecutive year only.

These changes will lower individual dues for those who need it most.

As we told you at Mosaic ‘16 in Toronto, we’ve kept individual dues the same for regular individual members ($195), first-time members ($130), emeritus ($75), student ($50), affiliate ($120), and international members ($130).

We’re also introducing a new people-centered approach to institutional membership (look for a more detailed post on that in the next couple of weeks). Institutions can now choose to provide their employees or students with $50 discounts towards individual memberships. All institutional memberships will include one individual membership, eliminating the duplication of institutional and individual memberships for some.

You’ll see a few changes to your benefits, especially in the area of publications. Print advertising revenues have shrunk over the past several years, meaning we needed to cut costs to avoid raising dues. We believe we’ve found ways to do that while simultaneously providing you with a better reader experience. In 2017, the MLA News will become electronic only and expand to include a wider range of content, with an improved online reader interface. The JMLA will have a new dedicated online presence, allowing faster publishing and more features. MLA will continue to offer the print version to individual members at a charge of $50 per year; institutions may continue to receive the print version at no cost.

We’ve made a few technical changes to membership, too. For instance, we modified the definition for affiliate member to replace “paraprofessional” with “support staff,” a more contemporary term.

The net result? Becoming an MLA member will be more affordable and more accessible to more people, with MLA’s work benefiting more health sciences librarians than ever before.

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