SLA Deliberating Moving Conference out of North Carolina in Response to Anti-LGBT Law

Global organization reconsiders planned conference for 3,000 scheduled for 2018

McLean, Virginia, 15 April 2016—The Board of Directors of the Special Libraries Association (SLA) is reconsidering hosting its 2018 conference in Charlotte, North Carolina, in response to a controversial bill that limits local governments in passing anti-discrimination laws affecting LGBT people. SLA could relocate the event unless North Carolina repeals anti-LGBT law, HB2, by May 25.

The bill—announced, passed, and signed by North Carolina’s legislative body and Gov. Pat McCrory during a single-day emergency legislative session in April—was timed to take effect before an anti-discrimination measure in the state’s largest city, Charlotte, could. The measure would have allowed transgender people to use restrooms that matched their gender identity. Earlier this week Gov. McCrory issued Executive Order 93 on HB2 that adds some protections for gays and transgender people, but does not alter the bill’s most high-profile provision mandating that transgender people use bathrooms that correspond only with the gender on their birth certificate.

SLA hopes that the North Carolina legislature will rescind the legislation once back in session on April 25. The Board of Directors will make a decision regarding moving the 2018 Conference out of North Carolina within 30 days of the legislature being back in session.

SLA President Tom Rink stated, “SLA stands strongly in support of diversity and inclusion practices in both privately-held libraries and companies as well as in the various municipalities and states in which special libraries operate. We are deeply opposed to any laws that permit or even give the appearance of tolerating discrimination.” Rink added, “These types of laws create an unwelcome environment for meeting and convention attendees, and SLA is reviewing its options so that we can take action on May 25.”

The Special Libraries Association annually convenes more than 3,000 librarians, information professionals and industry partners to create connections, share best practices and celebrate professional and industry accomplishments. SLA convened its annual meeting in Boston in 2015, and will meet in Philadelphia in 2016, and Phoenix in 2017.

About SLA
The Special Libraries Association (SLA) is a nonprofit international organization for innovative information professionals and their strategic partners. SLA serves information professionals in more than 60 countries and in a range of working environments, including business, academia and government agencies. SLA promotes and strengthens its members through learning, advocacy and networking initiatives. For more information, visit

Kate O’Donnell, CAE

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