SLA’s strategic vision – what will you contribute to making it a reality?

How many of SLA’s members are aware of the work done by the Board last year to create a new strategic vision for the association?  Not enough would probably be a good guess. Cindy Romaine wrote a detailed blog post in Nov 2011 outlining the development of the strategy and the next steps in making it a reality. The vision is a bold one which provides a roadmap for activity over the next few years:

SLA is a vibrant, global association of professionals who are employed in every sector of the information and knowledge economy. Our members thrive where data, information, and knowledge intersect and our strategic partners support SLA because they believe in the association’s mission and the future of its members. The goal of SLA is to support information professionals as they contribute, in their varied and evolving roles, to the opportunities and achievements of organizations, communities, and society.

In making the vision a reality the Board is concentrating on five key areas. Each area is being led by Board members and there should be reports on all the activities at conference in Chicago later this month.

  • Annual conference – what should this look like in the future? Should there be more virtual activities?
  • Professional development – how do we integrate and develop professional development offerings using technology; what will the revised competencies offer us?
  • Creating a richer volunteer experience – what can we learn from the loyalty project and from our members’ experiences of volunteering following the recent survey?
  • New markets through collaboration – what new markets can we find through learning and networking initiatives and through non-traditional collaboration efforts?
  • Growth through diversification- how do we appeal to new members in allied fields?

I’d advise all members to review the helpful presentation from Anne Caputo (SLA past President) which was part of Leadership and Management division’s recent webinar on SLA’s strategic vision. Also ensure you attend relevant meetings at conference (such as Leadership Orientation and Cabinet Meetings on Tuesday 17 July from 4pm) to find out more about making the vision a reality and asking questions about how it’s implemented.

SLA is our association and we all need to contribute to making the vision a reality. I took part in last month’s survey on volunteering experience circulated by Liz Blankson-Hemans and Mary Ellen Bates, who are leading the work on ‘Creating a richer volunteer experience’. I was very impressed with the survey questions, they really made me analyse what I’d got out of my volunteer experience from both SLA and other associations. So I’ll be interested to see how my responses chimed with others and how these can be used to create a richer experience in SLA. I’ve also been thinking about what the future of annual conference could look like: would it work if it was every other year? I think it might just work, but only if supplemented by more use of technology to allow people to communicate more regularly. I see that ALA is changing the way it does its conference, is there anything we can learn from them or from others who are changing their conference model? And from the professional development perspective could there be some opportunities for partnering with an organisation, like the Open University, to offer discounted access to some of their CPD programmes?