a group for library employees to share ideas, keep up to date, and learn from one another.
Association for Strategic Knowledge Professionals to replace Special Libraries Association?
October 15, 2009 at 6:15 pm #83190
I just posted about the SLA Alignment and possible ASKPro name change on the main GovLoop forum. More information here: http://www.sla.org/content/SLA/alignment/portal/index.html.
As the Alignment Ambassador for the SLA Government Information Division I wanted to see how the government community represented here on GovLoop felt about this new direction and name. As government information professionals do you feel that this new name better explains the diverse roles of those in our profession? Do you think it would increase our membership and appeal to those involved in government information access, that do not identify themselves as librarians?
Just some thoughts to start a discussion!
October 16, 2009 at 6:22 pm #83198
I self-identify as a research librarian but have been out of libraries for over two years and am more of an information analyst within a department now. I feel the "SLA" full name always required some degree of explanation AND might not have sounded inclusive to the wider community of information professionals (unless they were former librarians, of course 🙂
"Assn. for Strategic Knowledge Professionals" strikes me as a reasonable attempt to capture the scope of members' responsibilities within the association's name. Regardless, we'll all have the opportunity to participate in an up or down vote soon.
To me the bigger value is contained in the website referenced above (http://www.sla.org/content/SLA/alignment/portal/index.html)
There is truly valuable information and tools contained at that "alignment" site that will help "specialized libraries", "special librarians", and all info pros to position themselves "strategically" in the eyes of their organizations and current or potential customers. I easily envision the information on that site being useful in strategic planning sessions, in development of the library or info center's strategic plan, in budget discussions within the parent organization, in reaching out to current customers, in crafting messages for potential customers in our organizations who don't see the "library" as relevant to them, and in seeking support for individual participation in the association.
IMO that's a big value add to us professionals, whether we call ourselves 'special librarians", "info pros" or "strategic knowledge professionals".
October 23, 2009 at 8:13 pm #83196
Thanks for your thoughtful reply! I agree that the substantial research coming out of the Alignment Project will help all those in our profession to better explain our value as well as that of our respective organizations. I also agree that the proposed name does allow us to better capture the broad array of members' work roles.
November 4, 2009 at 10:11 pm #83194
I'm guessing the name change will essentially, have next to no impact upon membership. I sort of bit my lip in lieu of laughing out loud when the consulting group SLA hired was introduced at the Seattle meeting in 2008. I almost walked out during their glitzy summary presentation. Pure-T hokum. I have no idea what SLA paid for this re-branding expertise, but I have a suspicion it was quite a bit. It doesn't seem to me to be money well-spent.
I'm no longer a SLA member as I let my membership lapse in 2009. So, I don't really have a "dog in the fight" any longer. Furthermore, I will likely rejoin when the SLA conference comes to the West Coast again. But in the meantime, I will be sorry to see the word library be retired, eliminated, or at the very least, de-emphasized. I will never advertise myself as an ASK-Pro member. To me, it borders on ridiculous. I just don't think putting a new shiny "plastic" artificial label on a venerable organization will really have much effect. This is a term that will, in my opinion, quickly become dated......leaving me feeling how I feel when listening to 80's New Wave music. Wince and enjoy.
However, the organization is full of great people with great programs at the conference and that's really enough for me regardless of the label. I'll just hold my nose, ditch the conference bag and attend some really great sessions.
I'm really not a curmudgeon.......just sounding like one here I suppose.
Oregon State Library
March 27, 2010 at 6:41 pm #83192
I wholeheartedly agree with you. I'm glad the name change didn't fly as I thought it sounded more like one of the 24/7 reference services out there. I am a librarian in charge of a special collection in one of my three jobs, a military librarian in another. My corporate boss fully understands what I do and my value to the organization, and I've never found that difficult to explain. I am a bit annoyed that SLA keeps pushing the Info Pro moniker every chance it gets. (Do bankers call themselves Money Pros?). Maybe SLA isn't a one-size-fits-all organization. Maybe other organizations need to be created that will offer the maximum benefit to the members they were designed to serve. I would never join an organization that didn't fit my needs.
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