There is a Chinese proverb that states, "A wise man does not lay up treasure — the more he gives, the more he has."
The success of any professional association is the degree of giving provided by its membership. People sometimes assume that the staff does most of the work, but it is the staff's mission to facilitate the opportunities and work donated by members. Success is truly a joint venture.
Giving, of course, takes two forms — time and money. Giving usually is associated with money, but giving "time" is one of the most valuable gifts that members can provide. Several months ago I wrote in this space about the importance and opportunity for members to give their time to the Association, and Pat Gratton, the AAPG president, has discussed this in his monthly columns.
AAPG has many opportunities to serve and we always are looking for members to work on committees or other special projects. The Publications Committee, for example, has need of new submittals for special publications. This is a great opportunity for members and fulfills AAPG's mission of "disseminating information."
If you have any questions or wish to submit your name for a committee or special project, please contact me by phone at 888-945-2274, extension 639.
Monetary giving also is key to the development of the Association.
When most think about monetary giving we typically think of the AAPG Foundation, and that is good. The money that individuals and corporations have provided to the Foundation provides basic support for programs that support the "public good," but also support member goals for the overall geologic community. Programs such as the Grants-In-Aid for students and our Distinguished Lecturers are the direct result of the generosity of AAPG members through the Foundation.
However, one of the "gems" provided by the Foundation is often forgotten or missed by members — the Foundation Library, which was established in 1978.
The Foundation Library is managed by two librarians, Mary Kay Grosvald and Karen Piqune, and they have an extensive library at their disposal — plus complete electronic research capabilities, including GeoRef and Datapages. As a result Mary Kay and Karen provide complete research services.
Any member can call or e-mail the Foundation librarians and request research on a particular field, trend or subject. For example, the librarians recently have made numerous complete searches for members on the Barnett Shale. Each member receives a free service and only pays for direct fees, such as search access cost, copying and postage.
This is truly a bargain and a great service to the public and AAPG members.
I encourage you to contact the Foundation Library the next time you need information. You can reach them at 888-945-2274, extension 620.
As I said at the beginning, the success of the Association is dependent on the generosity of its members. But consider this — the growth of the Association is limited by the level of that generosity.
In other words, the more members give, the more AAPG can give back.
During the past five years AAPG has been in the process of building new and improved member benefits. To continue this trend, we need new members to volunteer to help on committees and special projects. Also we need more members to give monetarily to projects in which they are interested.
In recent years, giving to the AAPG Foundation has declined primarily due to economic conditions. We ask all members to consider the opportunities to give to one or more of the projects supported by the Foundation. For example, you can support the Foundation Library by giving to the fund established with a gift annuity by Daniel A. Busch, former AAPG president and Sidney Powers medalist.
The end of the calendar year is a good time to consider this opportunity. Please go to http://foundation.aapg.org to find out more about the Foundation; or call Diane Keim at 888-945-2274, extension 674, and or e-mail [email protected] for more information.
AAPG appreciates the past giving of time and money by AAPG members. I hope all members have a happy holiday season, and we thank you in advance for your support in the coming New Year.