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SLA is neither "special" nor just for "librarians." Talk amongst yourselves.

If you watched Saturday Night Live in the 90’s, and/or you’re from Long Island (I am both), you know how Linda Richman gets verklempt. Just as Rhode Island is neither a road nor is it an island, there is currently much debate around the #slaname change, and members are most certainly talking amongst themselves.

This is a good thing, because it shows an enthusiastic group that is passionate about its profession (however that might be defined), and it seems there are two groups rising from the chatter: the traditional camp that wants to stick with the current name as one they can hang their hat on and rally behind. And others that view the name as antiquated and not representative of its members.

In actuality, members include more than just those in special libraries, and it includes more than just librarians. So it's true the name might not be an accurate reflection of the group. However, even though there are many different roles and titles within the group -- info pros, researchers, librarians, knowledge professionals, etc. -- what makes the group, well, a group, is that the commonalities outweigh the differences.

I don’t think anyone can deny that there is a major shift going on across libraries, collections, and museums that's being fueled by the social phenomenon. Just as roles and responsibilities shift, then maybe a name that reflects that shift and broadens the scope and acceptance of members isn’t such a bad thing.

So join in the discussion, we’ll talk, no big whoop.

1 comment:

Cara Schatz, said...

Great post, made me a little verklempt. Ill be fine in a moment.. :)

Really good thoughts on the heart of this Alignment Initiative from SLA... u hit the nail on the head:

"what makes the group, well, a group, is that the commonalities outweigh the differences."

That is it! and we can sum up what the commonalities are between a Librarian, an Info Pro, a content manager, or CI person:

It is two simple words: value proposition.


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