Tom Rink to Head SLA in 2016

Alexandria, Virginia, 25 September 2014 — Tom Rink, an instructor for library services at Northeastern State University in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, will lead the Special Libraries Association (SLA) as president in 2016.

Tom is one of five information professionals who will begin serving three-year terms on the 15-member SLA Board of Directors in January 2015. He will serve one year as president-elect, followed by a year as president and a year as past president. Joining him on the board in 2015 are the following SLA members:

  • Kim Silk, chapter cabinet chair-elect;
  • Ruth Kneale, division cabinet chair-elect;
  • Kevin Adams, director; and
  • Catherine Lavallee-Welch, director.

The new board members were chosen by the association’s members in an election that opened on September 3 and closed on September 24. Balloting was conducted online; approximately 23 percent of SLA members cast votes.

SLA members also overwhelmingly approved two changes to the association’s bylaws. The changes are as follows:

  • Recognizing the joint cabinet as an official body of the association; and
  • Allowing caucuses to be formed based on geography.

About Tom Rink
In addition to serving as an instructor for library services at NSU, Tom is the resource coordinator for the university’s College of Liberal Arts and the College of Science and Health Professions. Prior to joining academia, Tom was a police officer in Tulsa, earning his library degree at night while working full-time during the day. In 1994, he was offered the opportunity to establish a library from scratch for the police department, which launched his career as an information professional. He retired from his 25-year law enforcement career in April 2007.


Tom joined SLA in 1997 and has volunteered at every level. He has served as treasurer (1997-2003) and president (2006) of the Oklahoma Chapter, as treasurer of both the Solo Librarians (1999-2003) and Advertising and Marketing (2010-2012) Divisions, and as a member of the Annual Conference Program Planning Committee for the Solo Librarians (2006-2008) and Leadership & Management (2013-2014) Divisions. He currently serves as membership chair for both the Oklahoma Chapter (since 2008) and the Leadership & Management Division (since 2012).

Tom previously served on the SLA Board of Directors as Division Cabinet Chair, in 2008-2010. He chaired the board’s Division Structure Task Force in 2009-2010 and currently serves on the Finance Committee.

Tom is a member of every division and several chapters of SLA, and has been a member of the SLA Loyalty Club (at the Platinum Level) since its inception in 2012.

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

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