US Stamps

APS, APRL boards hold joint online meeting Oct. 28

Nov 3, 2021, 10 AM

By Charles Snee

The American Philatelic Society and American Philatelic Research Library conducted a joint board meeting Oct. 28 on the Zoom online platform.

APS executive director Scott D. English and other APS and APRL board members presented upbeat assessments as the grip of the COVID-19 pandemic begins to loosen across the country.

The American Philatelic Center, home to the APS and APRL, is open to visitors, English said.

However all visitors and staff are required to wear masks, and member and public access is restricted to member service areas such as the library and circuit sales.

“Aggressive cleaning protocols for high-touch, high-traffic areas are in place, and our staff is very comfortable with the procedures,” English said.

According to English, no public tours or large group events are being held at the American Philatelic Center through Dec. 31.

As of Sept. 30, APS membership stands at 26,962, which is down 128 from September 2020, and 1,408 new applications have been received.

The finances of the APS remain strong, with revenue of $2.8 million and expenses of $2.6 million through Sept. 30. Net operating income stands at $210,000, which is $140,000 better than budget.

English said that the Campaign for Philately has raised $254,000, a substantial increase over the $148,000 raised in 2020. He specified that these figures do not include estate donations to the campaign.

The APRL recorded revenue of $685,000 and $623,000 in expenses through Sept. 30. Net operating income of $63,000 was $7,700 ahead of budget for the year.

APS circuit sales are doing well, with $1.1 million in total sales, revenue of $295,000 and expenses of $194,000. Slightly less than 4,500 circuits were mailed by the end of September.

Circuit sales expenses are down substantially in 2021 because “collectors are actively buying and selling through circuit sales,” English said.

English pointed out internet sales were robust, with $994,000 in total sales through Sept. 30, the best start since 2008, and 88,800 items sold, the best start ever.

“I offer my thanks to the internet sales staff for their hard work,” he said.

Through Sept. 30, the American Philatelic Expertizing Service received 3,673 submissions, 236 more than at the same point in 2020. “We are getting back to pre-pandemic numbers,” English said.

English praised director of expertizing Ken Martin and his staff for the great job they are doing getting certificates to submitters more quickly.

Advertising sales in the American Philatelist, the official journal of the APS, are about $60,000 below budget but $30,000 higher than in September 2020, English said. Print, paper and mail costs are $13,000 higher than in September of last year.

The society’s education initiatives are showing robust gains, with revenue from virtual live events at $9,500 through September, well above the $5,000 projected for 2021.

On-demand courses have pulled in $1,550 through September, against a projected $1,500 for the year.

Overall net operating income for education stands at $32,000 as of Sept. 30; a loss of $37,500 was projected for 2021.

A projected gain of $3,900 is expected for the Great American Stamp Show held Aug. 12-15 in Rosemont, Ill., English said. The show was projected to lose $60,000.

APRL librarian Scott Tiffney reported that the library had received 1,859 requests through the end of September.

“We’re at a good place with the number of requests” that have been received, Tiffney said, noting that the number of people using the library has increased during the pandemic.

Tiffney said that subscription rates for the Philatelic Literature Review, the library’s quarterly journal, would increase starting in the first quarter of 2022.

Subscriptions mailed to United States, Canadian and international addresses will each rise $3: from $18 to $21, $23 to $26 and $30 to $33, respectively.

Tiffney cited increased paper and printing costs, along with efforts to be more cost- effective and improve the journal’s content.

Processing of the massive Trenchard collection continues, with three and one-half of 24 pallets of material processed thus far, Tiffany said.

The APRL has secured permissions to add 51 journals, 13 books and 305 exhibits to the Robert A. Mason Digital Library.

Two part-time staff members will be hired to begin uploading digital journals to the Mason library first, Tiffany said. He noted that issues of the Philatelic Literature Review from 1980 to the present have already been uploaded.

In other business, the APS board approved amending the society’s policy to allow an electronic voting option starting with the 2022 election cycle. However, a final decision regarding electronic voting has not been made, English said.

Society members will still have the option to vote by mail.

The APS board also approved the 2022 budget as presented by APS chief administrative officer Jeff Krantweiss.

For more information about the APS and the APRL, contact the APS, 100 Match Factory Place, Bellefonte, PA 16823.

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