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Enhancing Membership Value   YALSA Logo

The Challenge:

YALSA Schematic

YALSA is a not for profit association targeted to Young Adult Librarians from either the public or school library systems. The   association is an affiliate of the American Library Association. YALSA was facing increased pressure to attract new memberships and stem a growing number of non-renewals. The issues that were identified early on in the process were:

School librarians didn't believe YALSA focuses on their needs 

There was mixed awareness of YALSA services among nonmembers

Too many free resources negativly impacted membership

Dues and travel expenses were no longer reimbursed by employers



The Solution:

YALSA Research Chart

The project included an examination of YALSA target audiences and their needs. The research explored what the brand realistically could stand for, what YALSA wanted it to stand for and the brand’s current delivery against its brand promise.

Quantitative research confirmed that YALSA enjoys a strong reputation among members, lapsed members and non-members alike. Therefore, the biggest strategic challenge for YALSA was to increase the perceived value of the brand and create a target-focused campaign to increase membership.

The Results:

Innovative offerings were identified to address negatives and enhance membership value:

  • Virtual learning to overcome cost/travel issues
  • Create a better balance between free/members-only offerings to enhance perceived membership value
  • Targeted marketing to address disenfranchised school librarians
  • A renewal marketing campaign and a referral program leveraging existing members


Smart Words

"Marketing isn't magic.  There is a science to it."

Dan Zarrella, Social Media Scientist, Hubspot