SLA Strategic Plan: 2018-2020

In January 2018, under the leadership of SLA President Roberto Sarmiento, SLA board and senior staff created a strategic vision for each strategic pillar: Member Engagement, Knowledge, Learning, Leadership, Operations, and Sales and Partnerships.

To support the vision, staff and Board created key objectives to help meet the vision for each pillar. Moving forward, staff will create a tactical plan to implement and support these objectives (including key performance indicators to help track success) and will report back to the Board of Directors on progress.

SLA members’ make-up, demands, and needs will continuously evolve. Therefore, our association must be agile and have its hand on the pulse of members to know and deliver what will make a difference for their careers and employers. The SLA Strategic Plan captures the spirit of today’s SLA—creating leaders for the information and knowledge industry. To maintain continuity, the plan identifies the strategic priorities and serves as the foundation for future Boards of Directors. The strategic plan puts an important stake in the ground and serves as a “living document,” ever evolving with the association and the broader field.

We encourage SLA members to engage in the strategic plan’s implementation by continuing to renew their membership, volunteer with units, network with other information professionals through SLA events, and help promote the profession when possible.


The Special Libraries Association is the global organization for innovative information professionals and their strategic partners.


The Special Libraries Association promotes and strengthens its members through learning, advocacy, and networking initiatives.


Strategic Objective: Diversify and grow membership.

  • Expanded market reach and penetration.
  • More meaningful content and increased membership value and investment.
  • Enhanced contributions at the unit level.
  • Members feel welcome and excited to be part of the SLA community.


Strategic Objective: Play an integral role in the evolution of the information and knowledge industry within the global economy.

  • SLA encompasses new, emerging and divergent markets.
  • SLA communicates and markets effectively to SLA members, prospects and the broader community.
  • Collaboration with strategic partners grows the available content and knowledge.
  • Content strategy expands market reach.


Strategic Objective: Serve as the go-to organization for learning and professional development for information professionals.

  • Valuable, relevant educational content for the information professional community.
  • New learning and professional development opportunities.


Strategic Objective: Develop a model of leadership to inspire and empower members toward the practice of leadership.

  • More nimble governance structures in sync with the industry.
  • New executive leadership program.
  • SLA culture inspires leadership in members’ professional lives.


Strategic Objective: Develop, solidify and nurture collaborative partnerships between members and industry partners.

  • Enhanced value and perception between SLA and its industry partners.
  • SLA programs and events are more attractive to members and industry partners.


Strategic Objective: Deploy effective and efficient tools and resources, enterprise-wide.

  • Increased operational efficiency and effectiveness.
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