Membership Management System Taskforce

Name of the Committee: CALA Membership Management System Taskforce


Member Roster (Please list Chair as the first name):

  • Bin Zhang (Co-Chair)
  • Songqian Lu (Co-Chair)
  • Heather Huibin Cai
  • Elaine Dong
  • Shuyong Jiang
  • Weiling Liu
  • Hong Wang
  • Shixing Wen
  • Daniel Xiao

Is this an interim or annual report?

Interim report

√ Annual report

List significant activities the
committee has done since last report:

CALA Membership Management System Taskforce
was formed in February 2009, after the ALA Midwinter Conference.  The purpose of the taskforce is to research,
investigate, and implement a full-featured membership management system for the
association so that the online CALA Membership Directory can be better managed.  The accomplishments of the taskforce are
listed as follows:


1.       An online
meeting  was held on March 6, 2009:

  • The following items have been reviewed:
    • Taskforce charge and the project time frame
    • Current system functionalities
    • Membership application/renewal and online payment (Pay Pal) process
    • Current membership directory data elements (database fields)
    • Sample problem records
    • Daniel's proposal on data to be tracked
  • Problems of the current membership
    database were identified:
    • Inconsistence
    • Duplication ( field, record and data entry)
    • Mixed fields (address, etc. Need to be separated)
    • Some filed character limitation is too short
    • "Gender" field doesn't showing up on the application form
    • No authority control
  • Suggestions:
    • Creating the flow chart of the process procedures
    • Using more pull down menu in new system
    • Adding field on the membership application form to indicate the
    • Using Access database to do clean up
    • Suggested more data elements:
      • History activities
      • Official position in CALA
      • Committee/Taskforce membership with terms
      • Awards/reorganizations
      • State, city, region
      • Library type (academic, public, special)
      • Specialty group (systems, cataloging, reference, etc.)
      • Brief biography
    • Using the ALA membership information for the job category and the library
    • Adding quality control tool (data validation) to prevent duplicated
    • Creating guideline for current database clean up
  • Decisions:
    • The Taskforce has agreed with the suggestion of inviting Hong Wang, the
      former Membership Committee Chair, to join the Taskforce since she is familiar
      with the membership directory
    • Set up only the basic functions for the new system first, and come out
      with a prototype to CALA Board at the ALA annual conference ( before July 2009)
    • Clean up data on current database
    • Copy existing database to the testing database, and make structure change
      on the testing database
    • Provide Online Membership database access to the members of the Taskforce
    • Create online membership directory input
  • Assignments:
    • Creating flow chart for current updating procedure (Elaine)
    • Creating flow chart for current payment processing (Shuyong and Shixing)
    • Cleaning up membership database (Elaine, Daniel, Heather, and Songqian)
    • Testing system (CiviCRM on Drupal) set up: (Weiling, and Bin)
    • Identify
      the membership field from ALA (Daniel)
    • Identify
      the data elements that need to be tracked (All)

Assignment Updates (as of June 10, 2009):

  • A flow chart for current updating
    procedure has been created
  • Both development site with Drupal6 and
    CiviCRM system have been installed
  • Configuring custom fields to reflect
    the membership directory is in the process. More tests with member data will be
  • Data elements need to be tracked have
    been identified and updated in the database
  • Several global changes have been made
    to reflect the related data field and content update
  • Database field input guidelines have
    been created
  • Database file has been exported into a
    spreadsheet, and several fields have been converted to meet the guidelines and
    to make the clean up job easier
  • Database
    cleanup task is in the process

List committee
recommendations, if any, to the Board:

Submitted by:

  • Songqian Lu (co-chair)
  • Bin Zhang (co-chair)