MLA’s online directory is designed to provide easy access to information about current members of the organization. Members can use the site to search for members not only by name, but also by other fields, such as city, state, membership type, or other parameters. In addition, the site offers members control of their own information, so that contact information is always current for mailing addresses, e-mail addresses, and phone numbers. Members can also create and update their own passwords to facilitate logging into the site. Moreover, the entire site is linked to e-commerce to make it safe and easy to join MLA, renew memberships, contribute to MLA, and register for conferences online through a secure server.
Log into the Online Directory
Once at the site, be sure to login so that you can take full advantage of all the features. Log into the site with your e-mail address and use the password you chose. If you forgot your password, click on the link labeled “Forgot password” to have the site send you the password on file. This service is available day and night, so that members can have access to the site whenever they need it. (If you have problems with the login and password, please contact the MLA Business Office for assistance: email@example.com or 608-836-5825. Members who did not renew for the 2008-2009 membership year may need to click the “Join” link to enter their information in the online directory.)
Once they login successfully, members have full access to all the directory’s features, which are listed on the sidebars found on the left-hand side of the screen.
Those visiting the site for the first time may want to review their own information; it is possible to do so through the link “Update Profile.” With a single click, members can find their personal information displayed in front of them. It is possible to revise any field, so that the rest of the organization has the latest contact information. You can also use the site to revise your password for future logins. After making any changes, though, you must click “Save” for them to take effect.
Searching the Directory
To search the directory, click on the link labeled “Membership Directory” to find the basic search screen. The display should appear as follows:
Use a name or part of a name to find someone. The results will include both last names and first names. With common names or stems like “John,” you can sort the results by clicking on the headers on the results page. Clicking on the header “Name,” for example, organizes the results alphabetically by last name, and it is possible to organize the results by clicking on each of the headings.
It is also possible to use multiple fields for advanced searches when looking for specific information. Use the drop-down menus for the first two fields to establish the parameters you want. For example, it is possible to search by state and membership type, and thus find student members in the state of New York. This kind of work lends itself well to the dynamic environment of the online directory. As you become familiar with the site, you are welcome to try different combinations depending on your needs.
Once you have your results, you can contact individuals listed on the results pages by clicking on their name. The listings resemble those found in the traditional print directory, and should not pose any problems. Yet in this online environment, some individuals may have opted not to show their home addresses. More importantly, some of the information displayed may differ from the last printed directory, since it reflects the latest input from the members. (This environment encourages us to work together in keeping the information current.)
Members have individual pages containing their personal information, and logged-in members can update it at any time. Use the navigation item “Update Profile” to get to your page:
When you review your information, please check that your “Institution” information is correct. You need not repeat the institution name in Address 1 and, instead, use the field for the rest of the mailing information. Please feel free to make changes as needed, including updating your password, if you like. Remember to click “Save” (at the bottom of the page) to put the changes into effect.
Another feature of the online directory is its integration with e-commerce, so that members can renew, donate, subscribe to an MLA publication, or register for a conference. Payment by credit card is possible via VISA, MasterCard, and American Express. Members may also pay by check, since the site can generate a formatted receipt to return to the Business Office with payment.
When you are logged into the site as a current member, your personal information appears right away, so that you do not have to fill out a form. In fact, your personal information appears in the preview, and if you would like to change it, you can go back to revise any personal data, then complete the transaction.
If the information is correct, you can click the button to “Proceed with payment” and then use the e-commerce at the site to pay by credit card. Again, if you want to print out a form to send payment by mail to the Business Office, click on the option to pay by check, and the site will generate the paperwork you need. It should be clear and easy to use.
You can pay by credit card (VISA, MasterCard, or American Express) or print a mail-in form to send to the Business Office with your check. If you use a credit card, make certain that the site knows the billing address for it—the member’s profile has space for a home address, a work address, and a credit-card billing address. The latter is useful for payments with institutional credit cards and other, related situations.
When you pay by credit card, you should receive two receipts:
- An itemized receipt generated by the site with all the details in a formatted presentation (this comes from firstname.lastname@example.org)
By the way, it is also possible for individuals to join MLA or register for the conferences prior to joining MLA. More importantly, anyone can return to the site to make further purchases. If you decide later to purchase a concert ticket or an additional banquet ticket, it is possible to return to the site to take care these and other transactions.
The site also offers various ways to contact the Business Office, starting with the navigation panel on the front page:
The “Contact Us” navigation item is linked to a structured response, which contain some drop-down menus to refine your message:
This is one way to reach us – if it’s easier to send e-mail or to call us, please do so. The site has not replaced human contact with technology, but allowed technology to make regular communication more effective.
Please use the site. In fact, if you have not already done so, please log into the online directory and familiarize yourself with it. Try the navigation buttons, use the drop-down menus, and get a feel for the site.
If you haven’t yet bookmarked the site, remember to do so.
Please review your profile periodically and keep it current.
As you use the site, feel free to contact the Business Office with any questions or suggestions (608-836-5825 or email@example.com). We look forward to hearing from you!
James L. Zychowicz
MLA Business Office, A-R Editions