Strategic Plan: Membership

Goal Area: Membership

Strategic Planning Implementation Team 4 Draft Report

Goal Statement: Membership in MLA is valued by and beneficial to a broad range of organizations and individuals, and membership reflects the broad diversity of musics and populations we serve.

Objective 1: Increase outreach efforts to members from underrepresented groups.

Evidence of Success: MLA’s membership is diverse and mirrors the demographics of the populations we serve.


For 2012–2013:

  1. MLA establishes a Membership Committee to oversee the planning and completion of the following action items. The Committee’s overarching charge will be toincrease and significantly diversifythe membership by reaching out to the populations served, including those who work in libraries, music professionals (both academic and non-academic), music producers, and music consumers and to develop and implement an active and successful means ofretainingcurrent members.
  2. MLA establishes active outreach programs to library school programs, museums, performance librarians (not just orchestral), Schools and Departments of Music in universities, colleges, and community colleges.
    1. Requires active involvement at the chapter level, or perhaps even at a more granular level (e.g. "sub-chapter”/ local are modeled on local AGO meetings)
    2. Possible first step: invite local area music professionals, music students, library school students to opening reception at chapter meetings as guests, with reduced or free registration for meeting sessions.
  3. MLA increases presence in social media and YouTube.

By 2015:

  1. MLA gathers data from the memberships of various relevant associations and music professionals to assess what needs they have that MLA can provide.
  2. MLA gathers data over a number of years (3–4) from a group of student members by tracking their career paths, including first jobs, how MLA helped them, what more MLA could do to assist them in career preparation, and to keep them as members if they are not working specifically in music libraries.
  3. Increase student involvement across the association – submit articles, write actively recruit articles for chapter newsletters as well as the MLA Newsletter- possibly create a section specifically for students
  4. MLA redesigns annual dues matrix to include relevant groups outside the traditional MLA population.
  5. Lock down the job opening information to members only
  6. Creating "Angie's list” — members only
  7. Membership Committee works with Administrative Officers to track membership statistics.


By 2020:

  1. Target membership demographics are confirmed by periodic data collection.

Objective 2: Increase outreach efforts to organizations that are underrepresented, including those whose holdings reflect many types of music.

Evidence of Success: MLA supports music collections of all types and formats and of all musics.


For 2012–2013:

  1. Examine MLA’s relationship with MOUG and how that works. Explore how to apply that to our relationships with other organizations such as MOLA, theater and dance librarian groups. What can we offer them as members?


By 2015:

  1. Articles in Notes, volumes in the monographic series, and conference presentations appear on all types of music.
  2. MLA members are increasingly from organizations with holdings reflecting many types of music.
  3. MLA Liaisons to other associations develop a true presence at those meetings. Possible opportunities:
    1. Present relevant papers or sessions as they fit with meeting programs
    2. Report "News from MLA” at annual business meetings
    3. Post "News from MLA” in association newsletters, listservs, blogs, etc.
    4. Post "news from ________” in MLA newsletter or on listservs, blogs, etc.
  4. Develop ways to work with music professionals, producers and consumers as a clearinghouse for resources (e.g. K-12 music teachers: develop as a clearinghouse for resources lesson plans, music examples, local musicians, soundboard & other A/V advice, etc. ; outreach to pedagogy of teaching).

Objective 3: Investigate opportunities to offer institutional members cooperative buying agreements that provide valuable resources at reasonable costs.

THIS NEEDS MORE RESEARCH. SO MANY ACADEMIC LIBRARIES ARE SUPPORTED BY CONSORTIA. WHAT IS LACKING THAT NEEDS TO BE ADDRESSED HERE? SMALLER LIBRARIES? PUBLIC LIBRARIES? We need to investigate how this would be a benefit. There should be some kind of discussion amongst MLA members about what needs are not being met by current consortial packages and if there really is a need. Can an association really provide any more benefit than state support.


From chair, StratPlan TF: "In many contexts we thought MLA should be playing a much more proactive role affecting publishing, legislation, and copyright. I don’t see how MLA could act as a consortium, but we could put pressure on the journal aggregators, supply statistics on average journal costs and usage, coordinate demonstrating hour much free content we are providing that is being resold to libraries, things like that. Could we in partnership with AR perhaps provide a music creative commons publishing platform with great metadata? We were thinking big. In the membership context these activities would increase MLA’s value to institutional members and justify to administrators the value of individual staff membership and conference attendance.”


Evidence of Success: MLA provides valued services to its institutional members.


By 2020:

  1. MLA provides to institutional members cooperative buying agreements, access to valuable resources at a reasonable cost that might not have otherwise been affordable to purchase/license.
  2. Negotiate MLA member discounts with music publishers, such as Scarecrow Press, McFarland, Ashgate, and the various university presses, particularly those whose books aren’t discounted through wholesalers, such as Ingram.
  3. Negotiate a subscription for MLA members with Naxos and/or Alexander Street Press, possibly at a specific membership level. This might be a membership incentive for K-12 teachers or others who do not have access to these music databases through any other means. Maybe it could be an "add-on” level of membership, available to all members. (If we’re thinking BIG, we should investigate doing this with services like Amazon Prime or iTunes! I put these two here instead of the parking lot, because they seem to fit with the cooperative agreement idea.)


CHECKLIST FOR MEMBERSHIP (Parking lot for various excellent ideas from Membership Implementation Team members)

  1. Create MLA FB page, Twitter – Outreach Committee
  2. YouTube, podcasts – home page, chapter level
  3. Q & A session by using Google+ (invitation sent via MLA FB page)
  4. MLA providing some database access
  5. Membership packaged with webinars, pre-conferences (RDA etc)
  6. Rethink/expand membership structure (ex. virtual only membership etc)
  7. Improving the roles of MLA liaisons
  8. Offer MLA membership discount (limited yr?) to those who became a regional MLA members
  9. Lock down the job opening information to members only
  10. Creating Angie's list - members only
  11. Conducting survey - to find out what non-members wants
  12. List of benefits for the tenure-track librarians or/and professors
  13. Invite non-members to Meet and Greet (or reception) of chapter meetings
  14. Make our professions more attractive and move away from the "2nd choice” model; stress that it’s still possible (and encouraged) to be an active researcher; develop ways to work with faculty to put a positive spin on the profession of librarianship.
  15. Develop ways to work with music teachers as a clearinghouse for resources; outreach to pedagogy of teaching.
  16. Emphasize non-meeting benefits.
    1. Librarians
    2. Music Professionals – Academic/Non-Academic
    3. Music Producers
    4. Music Users/Consumers
  18. We need to be providing more benefits beyond the objectives – additional evidence of success
  19. SOUNDSCAN – music industry databases – libraries aren’t our market. How can we hook up with them.
  20. RIAA?
  21. Investigate the possibility of "bundling” memberships with other organizations. For example, bundle MLA & ARSC membership with reduced rates for both. The bundled membership wouldn’t receive a print copy of Notes (cost saving for MLA?).
    1. For example, we talk to a music publisher who has not offered digitized scores to make them initiate the digitization project? Then, the MLA members are the only ones who can purchase the access? If we can "collaborate" to do the project with them, it makes sense that we are the only ones who have the privilege to get access? You know how much students love IMSLP! (Of course, I know that the details need to be thought through. I am just throwing an idea at this point.)
    2. How about Metropolitan Opera video streaming? They still do not offer institutional subscriptions. Can our association put pressure on them?

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About MLA

The Music Library Association is the professional association for music libraries and librarianship in the United States. Founded in 1931, it has an international membership of librarians, musicians, scholars, educators, and members of the book and music trades. Complementing the Association’s national and international activities are eleven regional chapters that carry out its programs on the local level.