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Why Am I an AASLH Individual Member?

As you may know, this blog is an initiative of AASLH’s Educators and Interpreters Committee. Our mission is to address the needs of educators and interpreters in history museums and historical organizations and provide a network of support. In addition to Arrrrduction, we have our own Twitter feed (@AASLHEdInt) dedicated to news and information on museum education and interpretation. We also work to provide a slate of sessions for the AASLH Annual Meetings, including a Thursday morning kick-off and an Affinity Group luncheon. Details are forthcoming, but save the dates now: September 18-21, 2013 in Birmingham, Alabama.

AASLH knows the value that Affinity Groups like ours bring to the field. Our group is open to all educators and interpreters, regardless of AALSH membership. However, our membership fees not only help AASLH provide a rich slate of programs, workshops and resources, they also help support our field.

Like many of you, my organization is an institutional member of AASLH. While the membership gives me access to all the benefits, including discounts on publications and registration to the Annual Meeting, I make it a point to be an individual member as well.

Why am I an individual member of AASLH? On a superficial level, it’s because I want my own copy of History News, and I like getting the Dispatch in my inbox each month. I also like to have my own voting privileges to elect members of the AASLH national governance.  Plus, the card with my name on it gets me into hundreds of museums around the country through the “AASLH Members Get in Free Program.”

But the real reason why I am an individual member is deeper than that. I love the history museum field, and I think it is important to support the only national organization dedicated to the field of state and local history. We have important work to do! And let’s face it: many of us work in small museums that lack the capacity to make deep, significant field-wide change on our own. We need to work together. And AASLH is a place where we can gather, share ideas, and let our collective voice be heard.

I encourage you to join me in becoming an AASLH individual member. It’s $70 for one year, $112 for two years. I know that money is tight for a lot of us, but consider the fee an investment in your future and the future of our field. Visit this link to learn more and become a member online: www.aaslh.org/membership.

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