SLA Rebukes North Carolina LGBT Law
Global organization reconsiders planned conference for 3,000 scheduled for 2018
McLean, Virginia, 4 April 2016—A controversial bill that limits local governments in passing anti-discrimination laws affecting LGBT people has caused the Special Libraries Association (SLA) to reconsider hosting its 2018 conference in Charlotte, North Carolina.
The bill—announced, passed, and signed by North Carolina’s legislative body and Gov. Pat McCrory during a single-day emergency legislative session last week—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.
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.”
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.
The Special Libraries Association 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 sla.org.
Kate O’Donnell, CAE