Benefits to SLA

SLA Restructure Benefits for SLAers 

This new structure will provide numerous benefits to SLA communities, staff, and SLA as a whole.

  • Frees communities to be more flexible and creative in developing programs and opportunities to attract and support members.
    • To join additional communities, login to your SLA account and then select “Edit My Units” to add the communities you wish to join.
  • “Right sizes” the volunteer experience to increase interest in leadership roles and SLA as a whole.
  • Streamlines community governance—focus on leadership, education, and networking, not on administration and finance.
  • Eliminates need to recruit treasurer to create and submit financial statements to SLA.
  • Eliminates need for communities to assume financial responsibility and liability for programs.
  • Makes more funds available to smaller communities that historically have lacked funding for programs and events.
  • No costs to communities for services such as website support.
  • More growth opportunities—SLA members pay one fee for SLA membership and can join as many communities as they like.
  • More opportunity for diversity and cross-pollination between communities and individuals.
  • Develops an inclusive culture, as the barrier (additional fees) to participate in communities is removed as well as volunteer expectations and requirements.

 Benefits to SLA as a Whole

  • Strengthens SLA’s value proposition for potential members, vendor partners, like-minded organizations, funders, etc.
  • Better positions SLA as a hub of learning, networking, and skills development.
  • Fosters more dynamism within association by allowing members and staff to do what they do best—and do them more efficiently and effectively.
  • Enables SLA to target funds and other resources more strategically than is possible with 75+ separate communities doing so individually.
  • Centralizes and simplifies community administration—staff manages one financial account for all communities.
  • Streamlines the SLA Staff’s ability to provide customer service to constituents.

Restructure Summation

SLA will now have a structure that supports members and communities; until now, members and communities have supported our structure.

Under this new structure, SLA communities can continue doing what they do best—providing special librarians and information professionals with valuable education and networking opportunities—without having to devote precious volunteer time and energy to administrative matters.

“Right-sizing” our administrative structure is in keeping with other changes we have made in recent years to make SLA more cost-efficient and better stewards of member dues—contracting for staff support with MCI USA, reducing the footprint of our annual convention, and so on. This is a logical (and long overdue) next step.

There is no member value in administrative structure. Member value lies in creating opportunities to gain more knowledge, learn new skills, and build a professional network that serves career goals and a modernized structure will enable us to do this.

SLA needs to change now more than ever to enable SLA to move at the pace of the global marketplace and position SLA for future growth.

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Special Libraries Association

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