Question #5. SLA is an international organization. How can SLA involve and reach out more to members outside of North America?
David Stern, candidate for Treasurer
As we are already an international association with technology that reaches around the globe, our concerns are two-fold: what content to share that would make us valuable, and how to effectively promote our value.
In terms of content, we must maintain a network providing best practices, state-of-the-art professional development, and access to some of the most recognized and respected experts in the industry. We should also collaborate with our related users, authors, vendors, and publishers in R&D efforts to develop innovative and creative solutions to new challenges, providing to the investigations our specific expertise in metadata, ontologies, data mining, and user needs from specific populations. We can speak from the perspective of many types of libraries, from many locations, with different interests, and with different required and desired solutions. Our materials should reflect our interests, which are more and more global in nature.
We can offer real-time face-to-face contact in the physical and the virtual world using regional conferences and virtual meetings. We can re-pupose or syndicate our speakers and our local expertise (however they were originally created and presented) using replays of webinars at the point of need whenever and whereever necessary.
Promotion of our assets is probably best done by demonstrating the return on investment obtained by utilizing our skills and techniques in various settings. We should partner with other information user organizations and industry players using the ubiquitous Internet. In addition to convincing those in our own field of the value of SLA, providing testimonials from important clients is a great way to convince key decision-makers of the value of our profession – therebye obtaining support for professional activities. No matter where you live or what work you perform, effectively sharing and managing data and knowledge provides a global competitive advantage. The SLA message is not just global, but universal.
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