This week we learned that the membership voted to keep the Special Libraries Association name, rather than switch to the proposed “Association for Strategic Knowledge Professionals.” I was fairly clear that my preference was to change to the new name, so on some level, I’ll admit I’m disappointed.
Still, I accept the results of the vote and I’m ready to move on. While a name is important, it is only one layer of how we describe ourselves and how we represent ourselves to potential members, employers, and clients.
There were some positive aspects in the debate leading up to the decision. One of them was how robust the discussion was—and that it took place using such a wide variety of media. Our members weighed the pros and cons in person, on the mailing lists, through the association blogs, using Facebook, Twitter, Second Life, and more.
Furthermore, the membership voted. In most of our elections, about 25% of our membership votes. For this ballot, the turnout was an incredible 50%. There was amazing engagement on this issue–it really got to people.
My intuition is that members are ready for a change, but not the particular name change they were presented with. Fair enough. We will continue to develop our membership services in terms of value, impact, and benefits. I just hope some of the passion of the past election can find its way into members continuing to help steer us into an uncertain future.
I believe the Alignment Project will be the roadmap to our next steps. My copy of the Alignment Project, with all its scribbled comments, post-it notes, and dog-eared corners is really getting a work out. If you’re looking for an opportunity to make a difference within the Association, I urge you to print out your own copy and see if there is a place where you can plug yourself in.
Regardless of your personal take on the outcome—stay engaged! Participate and work with us to make SLA thrive. Our chapters, divisions, and association members need you!