26 November 2008
STEPHEN ABRAM’S VISION FOR SLA
“For the SLA Centennial, we’ve been asked to provide an essay on our perspective regarding where our profession has been, is and is headed—no small task.” So wrote Stephen Abram, current president of the Special Libraries Association. Here is just a short summary of his “wish list.”
1. Focus: If we want our profession to achieve something great, then we have to do it with laser-like focus.
2. Recognition: Let’s work on getting someone who values us to be a highly visible champion. [Almost ex-First Lady Laura Bush was a great disappointment in this area. Editor]
3. Confidence: We need to have the confidence of our convictions and take action—sustainable action.
4. Communicate: …to influence the people who matter—the ones who affect the hiring of librarians and information professionals, those ones who choose priorities, the ones who ascertain budgets…
5. Balance: Let’s balance all of the needs of every type of specialized librarianship. Our differences and small and our common needs are great.
6. Learning: Let’s learn anew. Let’s learn new modes of learning. Let’s create compelling content. Let’s collaborate on a whole new scale.
7. Trust and Respect: We need to ensure that we don’t devolve [our] critical thinking strength into random criticism.
8. Welcome: Let’s embrace new graduates and those new members in the first five years of their careers. Let’s invest time and effort in our LIS schools. …let’s welcome a wider range of information professionals from all around the world.
9. Risk: Our need is great; we won’t get to where we want and need to be without taking some calculated, more sizeable risks.
10. Commit: Commit to a future, a positive future, that you create—not one that just happens to you.
There’s lots more in his full post on the SLA Centennial website. If you care about SLA’s future, you should read the whole thing.