SLA Honors Several Who Showed Leadership During Pandemic

Citations reflect changes in association’s operations, priorities

McLean, Virginia, U.S.A., 6 April 2021—SLA President Tara Murray Grove is presenting citations to several individuals and groups with the Special Libraries Association in recognition of the efforts they made during 2020 to provide leadership in areas ranging from governance and technology to diversity and education.

“The COVID-19 pandemic presented the most serious challenge to SLA and its members that we have faced since our founding in 1909, and we are emerging from it a stronger, more cohesive, and more dedicated community than we were before it hit,” Grove said. “I am proud of what we have accomplished, and these citations reflect the breadth and depth of our many accomplishments during a very challenging year.”

Presidential citations are given to SLA members for notable or important contributions during the year that enhanced the association or furthered its goals and objectives. For 2020, the following members and groups are receiving citations:

  • Karen Reczek for chairing the Governance & Strategy Subcommittee, which reviewed the proposed bylaws amendments approved by the membership in July 2020.
  • The SLA Nominating Committee (Niamh Tumelty, Nick Collison, Mary Talley, Connie Crosby, and Miriam Childs) for their work to ensure a robust slate of candidates for the SLA Board of Directors and continuity of leadership during an unprecedented year.
  • Samuel Russell and Chrissy Geluk for volunteering to chair the Technology Advisory Council and for communicating throughout the year to raise awareness of technology resources in SLA and assist members and volunteer leaders in taking full advantage of those resources.
  • Clara Cabrera, Michele Villagran, Michael Sholinbeck, Chrissy Geluk, Tom Nielsen, and Emma Antobam-Ntekudzi, leaders in SLA’s Diversity, Inclusion, Community, and Equity (DICE) Community, for their leadership in developing resources, offering programming, sharing information, and providing opportunities for discussion around issues of diversity, equity, inclusion, anti-racism, and social justice throughout the year. DICE also provided input on SLA’s statement against racism in June 2020 and made recommendations to the SLA board based on results of a membership survey.
  • The 2020 Annual Conference Advisory Council (Tina Franks, chair, Jeff Bond, Branwen Drew, Danny Dotson, Heather Kotula, Janel Kinlaw, Judy Geczi, Kathleen O’Connell, Kevin Adams, Linda Andrews, Lisa Carter, Nabi Hasan, Nathan Rosen, Sheila Devaney, Susan E. Hahn, and Tiffany Lopez) for their work to transition the educational content of the annual conference to a later date and a 100% virtual format and to solicit and review additional session proposals on timely topics: diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), social justice, and library responses to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The Restructuring Initiative Implementation Task Force (Emma Davidson, chair, Zena Appelbaum, Kathy Bradley, Amy Burke, Amy Jankowski, Hal Kirkwood, Mike Rosenberg, Laura Walesby, and Catherine Lavallée-Welch) for implementing a restructuring of the association, including preparing extensive documentation, communicating with stakeholders, and revising, expanding, and updating documents in response to feedback.
  • The Task Force on Reopening Specialized Libraries (Seema Rampersad, chair, Miriam Childs, Nabi Hasan, Deepa Singhal, Bronwyn Smith, Penny Sympson, and Douglas L. Varner) for collecting resources and facilitating roundtable discussions to assist specialized librarians and information professionals in safely reopening their physical spaces during COVID-19.
  • The Pharmaceutical and Health Technology Community (John Aubrey, Mindy Beattie, Nena Chandler, Susie Corbett, Betty Edwards, Susan Gleckner, Mark Haythorn, Tony Landolt, Sidney McNab, Karen Mirabile, Bridget Ryan, Amy Shortlidge-Cox, Caren Torrey, and Janet Weiss) for successfully postponing their annual Spring Meeting to a Fall Meeting and then, as it became clear that an in-person event would not be possible in 2020, converting it to a series of virtual events called PharmaTalks.
  • SLA Canada for implementing a merger of SLA’s Canadian communities (Bronwyn Smyth, Mary Gu, Mirjana Martic, Juanita Richardson, Patricia Cia, Merritt Kalagian, Katherine Scott, Thomas Blennerhasset, and Caleb Nault), presenting a robust slate of virtual programs in 2020 (Jane Dysart, Bronwyn Smyth, Karen Bleakley, and Thérèse Mainville), and reaching out to student groups (Stephen Abram and Craig Wingrove).
  • The SLA Washington, D.C., Community programming team (Samuel Russell, Sarah Braun, Logan Tapscott, Greg Horvitz, and David Blum) for modeling a varied and inclusive approach to local SLA programming, including in-person family events and a variety of virtual events such as book discussions, panels, Twitter chats, and movie nights.
  • The SLA Asia team of Dhanu Pattanashetti, Nabi Hasan, P.K. Jain, Parveen Babbar, and Debal C. Kar for presenting a webinar series that drew thousands of attendees and promoted SLA to new audiences.

“Through their efforts, these individuals and groups demonstrated the value they place in learning, in networking, in leading, and above all in belonging to a community of like-minded professionals who want to advance their careers and this association,” Grove said. “I am honored to present them with citations and count them as colleagues.”

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 50 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

Kathy Bradley

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