By Anthony (Bud) Rock
I would like to thank the many ASTC members who completed our recent ASTC Member Benefits Survey. ASTC has launched many new programs and services for our members since our last survey several years ago. Periodic surveys help us to know where we are succeeding and what we may need to reassess.
We did hear from some of you that the survey itself was a useful vehicle for highlighting what we offer to our members. These comments tell us that perhaps we need to strengthen our efforts to communicate these opportunities more widely so that all ASTC members can take full advantage of their member benefits.
Survey respondents highlighted many areas in which ASTC is providing tremendous value to members. Respondents greatly appreciated our professional advancement tools—our annual conference, workshops and webinars, Communities of Practice, and print and electronic publications, such as Dimensions magazine and the Professional Development and INFORMER enewsletters. They appreciate ASTC’s online training for new hires at science centers and would like to see more programs of this type. They applaud ASTC’s commitment to serving as the collective voice of the field through advocacy and through our partnerships with related organizations.
At the same time, respondents pointed out areas in which ASTC may want to focus more attention. Some called for “local” workshops throughout the world that would reduce travel costs and take into consideration uniquely local perspectives. Some suggested that ASTC should facilitate information exchanges on topics such as collections management in science center settings or grant support for small institutions.
Perhaps most importantly, many respondents acknowledged the pride that they feel in being part of a global fellowship as ASTC members. Respondents noted that ASTC makes individuals feel “like part of a larger whole”; that we provide access to information affecting the entire field (advocacy, trends in audience expectations, benchmarking, etc.); that we provide “multiple connection points to the industry and our colleagues”; and that we are “connecting like-minded professionals” and providing a “community for collaboration.”
ASTC staff greatly appreciates these supportive and constructive comments from our members. We will carefully analyze all of the feedback from the survey, continuing to provide the great activities that are so appreciated and instituting changes and adding new programs and services where beneficial. Thanks again on behalf of the entire ASTC staff for your guidance and for your sustained support of our association.
Anthony (Bud) Rock is ASTC’s president and CEO.