Candidates for SLA’s Board of Directors conducted an international call-in earlier this week to bring the election to members outside the US. This was the first time such a call was attempted. It was of some importance because it highlights SLA’s global reach and attempt to continue to involve and inform members outside the US.
With members in 75 countries throughout the world, SLA has a broad global membership. And in fact, global networking is one of the differientiators between SLA and other information professionals organizations. I find myself quoting the Alignment Project results frequently, and here’s what it has to say about global growth:
Global networking—differentiation and innovation
Global networking is a key benefit and area of differentiation for the Association.
This language worked particularly well with C-suite participants. Both corporate leaders and information professionals appreciate the value of having connections around the world.
This benefit is particularly powerful when framed in the context of promoting knowledge-sharing and the exchange of innovative ideas, insights and trends.
We want to provide opportunities for members to collaborate across national boundaries so we can move the global agenda forward. Why? Part of the reason is because we all benefit from a rich pool of networking opportunities and perpectives. How do we become more globally inclusive? By having working groups, committees, projects and other vehicles that provide the opportunity for members to collaborate across national boundaries.
Currently, members of the Board of Directors and 2009 candidates include leaders from the UK, Canada, and India. Web 2.0 tools take some of the bite out of working with people in distant places. Because of the economy and global warming, I predict there will be more prospects of using these tools to connect across timezones and boundtaries.
Another point is that there are cultural differences in the global SLA chapters. In fact, as I traveled to various chapters throughout my campaign I found that even chapters within the US have their own personalities, styles, opportunities, and strengths. I’m sure the differences are greater within and among the countries outside the US.
With that as background, I discovered this newsletter page when I was researching SLA’s chapters outside the US for the international call-in. Certainly, there are cultural differences in the global SLA chapters and the information in this newsletter post is steeped in its own culture, but there are strong similarities and a core value that we can all relate to. The way this is framed is simple and direct and his concluding words are very powerful: ”Sound of truth: Never underestimate yourself as a librarian.”