SLA is an international organization.
Question #5: SLA is an international organization. How can SLA involve and reach out more to members outside of North America?
Candidate for Director, 2012 SLA Board
SLA prides itself on being an international organization of information professionals with chapters around the globe. Discussions are held on international topics, sessions are presented focused on international resources, and some members from these non-North American chapters come to the annual conference.
It all feels superficial to me. If we are truly to become international we must create and strengthen a global community of information professionals. We have the tools and technologies. Now more than at anytime in the past, we can reach out and communicate, connect, and share with a colleague on the other side of the globe. Technology is not the hurdle.
Our attitude is the hurdle. We have to think globally. We have to think differently. And act accordingly.
SLA could host semi-annual global forums online using a mix of instant messaging, Skype, virtual environments, and web-based conferencing.
SLA and the divisions should continue to build upon the Click U portal for asynchronous instruction and learning.
SLA could work with the North American chapters and divisions to make an even greater effort to bring info pros from around the world to the annual conference. This could then facilitate perhaps a conference within the conference, where these members present and highlight their successes and challenges.
There needs to continue to be development of international conferences (there have been a couple so far)..including holding the SLA Annual Conference in a non-North American city. Even if it means 'not' holding a conference in North America for a year so that members can save and plan for it. This can only strengthen our depth of international connection and committment if we, the North American information professionals and librarians, actually go to these locations…to expand our perspective…and to experience the world out there across the oceans and borders; east, west, and south.
SLA and its North American members, if we are serious about being an international organization, must discuss and consider these issues. We need to think about overreaching, and pushing ourselves…pushing our colleagues…pushing our way out of our comfort zones to create an even more connected association of international information professionals.
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