If you get right down to the particulars, my unit does records management.  I enjoy the local chapter of ARMA and find the networking at the chapter level very useful.  But, to stay an ARMA member, I would not only have to pay the International and chapter dues, but if I want to go to any chapter meetings, that is even more $$ out of my pocket.  I could, of course, still go to chapter meetings and only pay a few $$ more than members, which is still less expensive than paying the dues, even though that probably isn't fair to the local chapter.
When it gets right down to it, with salaries frozen and other costs going up, I don't mind paying some for my professional education.  But at some point, those amounts start to add up over the year.  If you figure $20.00 for each meeting, then chapter and International dues on top of that, ARMA becomes quite costly.  The issue becomes one of value for money spent.
I do have a membership in the regional archival organization that I've always funded on my own.  It is so affordable that I don't mind that cost and I find their newsletters very useful.  I think there might be a local or state government organization, and that might be a good option if they let non-government join.
It would be interesting to hear from others what they are doing to keep their records management programs from the cutting block.  So far, we've managed to keep our program by cutting all non-essential costs, but if we have to absorb any additional cuts, services to the organization will suffer.

 Peter Kurilecz <[log in to unmask]> wrote:In a message dated 3/31/2003 12:14:49 PM Eastern Standard Time, Andrea Howard writes:

> Within my unit, we’ve had several ARMA memberships and also memberships in SAA, AIIM, and other professional organizations. These obviously add up when one is thinking about paying them out of pocket. The question to this group is, if you could only keep one, which would it be? What do the members of this list find the most useful?

First of all which of the organizations is most relevant to your work? Does your company have an extensive archives of material which is available to the public and the company? Or is your records management program fully supporting the day to day business operations?

Which association has the most members in your area that you can network with? Remember that ARMA is a national association with a solid group of chapters. SAA does not have any chapters associated with it per se however there are numerous regional archival associations that one can join for a very reasonable cost.
AIIM is somewhat in between, it does have chapters but is focused more on the trade rather than the profession.

Could you possibly provide us with more information on your situation ie what is your work like? What percentage of the work is RM related, what percentage is archives related?

haven't necessarily answered your questions, but these are my basic thoughts

Peter A. Kurilecz CRM, CA
Richmond, Va
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