Just to twist Peter's question on it's head, what justifications do the lawyers and others use to justify their memberships?

My thoughts would be items like:

*       Access to Journal(s) and articles that provide information on the effect(s) of recent and pending case decisions and rulings.

*       Ability to perform process and procedure benchmarking, in order to ensure our own procedures and policies are comparable.

*       Ability to locate qualified candidates for current and future open positions through networking and job services.

*       Ability to learn about new methodologies, technologies and research.

*       Access to training and continuing education resources not available elsewhere or elsewhere for that price.

So, given those items what can ARMA do to better meet those needs?

1.  Allow a reduced local chapter only membership option.  I know several people who could afford, say $50-75,  to join a local chapter but cannot afford the full national membership and therefore do not join at all.  This would also be an easier benefit to sell to one's employer as local meetings can be attended without the additional expense of travel.

2.  Perform small surveys on a quarterly basis that deal with a single topic, i.e. salary, software usage, offsite storage and such.  A service such as Zoomerang could be used to quickly and easily allow for collection of the data, which would then be distributed to member's only.

3.  Develop some online training classes, or materials, that could be delivered to members only.  Also create a member's only library.  They could also look at working with local colleges and universities to provide training courses that would only be available to members, i.e. computer training classes.

ARMA might also look at purchasing some sort of member's only subscription to a journal article service such as Lexis/Nexus, ProQuest or such.  I know this can be done, as my local library offers this service to it's patrons.  Also, a book club I belong to offers its members access to the online version of the Oxford English Dictionary...that's a $500+ value.

4.  ARMA could partner with Library and Information Management schools, and researchers, to support and fund research that members would have access to such as costs of imaging  and records management programs.

I think they also should look at offering student memberships to part-time students, not just full-time students, in such programs.  I know from my own experience that I could not qualify for a student membership because I was a part time student.  The reason I was a part time student was that I was working full time and attending school.

5.  Create a member's only list of people looking for jobs or provide some sort of blind referral service that would allow members to search for prospective employees.  I also think they should offer discounted employment opening listings for members.

6.  Work with similar organizations to allow members to subscribe to other professional journals at a lower price.

That's my two cents worth anyway.

Charis Wilson, MLS
Records Manager
Tom Brown Inc.
Denver, CO

List archives at
Contact [log in to unmask] for assistance