What Do I Get for My Membership Dues?
A common question for this time of year at Amigos is "what are we getting for our membership dues?" This question is more important now when many libraries are having to pivot – focusing on a specific set of existing or new services instead of all.
Amigos was established as a resource sharing organization, helping libraries share bibliographic and library resources in the 1970s. From the beginning, the board members saw Amigos as having a larger impact on libraries than just MARC records and interlibrary loan.
Our continuing education program continues to be one of the finest available. We provide webinars, conferences, and skills-based training from trainers with library experience and expertise in both on-site and online classrooms. The caliber of this staff and their support team is the key to Amigos' success in this area.
One recent example of the nimbleness of this group was the March 19th and 20th webinar "Don't Stand So Close to Me - Strategies you need right now to respond to COVID-19 in your face-to-face and remote work spaces." Almost 2,000 people registered to attend one of two live sessions or receive a recording. Seen as a service to the community, members and non-members alike attended at no charge. The response to this webinar exemplifies the thought and competence of your Amigos staff.
When asked what members get for their dues, one of the first items we discuss is the continuing education program. Most consortia long ago discontinued this program. This explains the number of attendees we see from libraries that are not Amigos members who are charged to attend events that are free to members. As a member library, review your library's use of this service. You should take advantage of the plentiful complimentary training that comes with membership – especially now.