SLA Reaching Out Internationally
Debbie Schachter: Candidate, Chapter Cabinet Chair Elect
Question #5: SLA is an international organization. How can SLA involve and reach out more to members outside of North America?
SLA is an international organization and as such, it should be as overtly “international” as possible. Even seemingly small indicators of SLA’s international understanding, as others have suggested, could include using international standards for date formats, using language that reflects an international perspective, and open discussion of economic or local environmental factors that impact our international members, are simple ways of showing that SLA is serious about being outwardly “international”.
There are a number of ways that SLA may want to address this challenge:
• Let’s ask the chapters and divisions what they need: start with more communication and an offer of support specifically for non-north American regions
• Ensure that concerns and issues from non-north American regions are brought to Board and staff for discussion and potential resolution – at the very least international concerns will be clearly heard and discussed even when there is no short-term solution
• Assist chapters to create small regional conferences, either virtually or in person, to build interest in SLA and to provide value to members who cannot attend SLA annual
• Publish more “international” news and information through our SLA communications
• In future, consider a location for an annual conference outside of the U.S. or Canada.
There are undoubtedly many ideas that our members from around the world would be happy to contribute. Perhaps this needs to become a priority for Board and staff in the upcoming years.
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