My friends and colleagues have been asking me a lot of questions lately. They ask me what I’m going to do as SLA’s President-elect? What are my priorities? What do I hope to accomplish? I’ve been conducting some far-reaching conversations with experts in and out of SLA to help frame up my answer, and it has been exhilarating. I’ve been honored to listen to people strategize around where we are and where we want to be. The key, as I see it, is to make sure that we as members, and we as an organization, are recognized as “Future Ready.”
What’s the definition of Future Ready?
It’s an attitude of being more adaptable and flexible in utilizing the skills of the information professional. It’s a strategic shift toward being more effective at aligning with emerging and robust opportunities in the information industry and beyond. It’s about understanding, and embracing, the future of the special librarian.
According the FastCompany, “We are experiencing a massive explosion of creativity in technology and media, an extraordinary flowering of content and collaboration.” Future Ready is about finding opportunities for SLA members to thrive in the new landscape.
Why do we need to be Future Ready? The rate of change in the world economy is accelerating. To be successful, we need to position ourselves as a unique service provider that is of great value to the customer. The opportunity is captured in this quote by Thomas Friedman:
…we must shift…to producing products, services and jobs which can’t be produced cheaper elsewhere. This is very likely to be a combination of a knowledge economy, knowledge products, knowledge jobs, and knowledge workers produced by a dramatically better education system. Technology and innovation will likely be at the root of all of these businesses.
Future Ready is about creating a shared vision of our desired future which builds on our strengths. Libraries have always been an integral part of every intellectual and technological tsunami, dating back to the birth of our civilization. We will have to work hard, but we have inherent advantages that should enable us to stay relevant. We need your ideas and insights to confront the challenge head-on, so join the discussion!
I’d like to personally enlist your participation!