SLA Candidate Speech
I want to talk with you today about three things:
Leadership, Volunteers and Technology.
While we can’t predict what the priorities of the incoming Board will be, based on my years of experience with SLA: Leadership, Volunteers, and Technology
will be areas of focus for me, if I am elected.
SLA is not only a professional association, it’s also a volunteer association. We depend on thousands of volunteer-hours per year to operate and it’s our responsibility to support those efforts.
We must provide an environment that allows our volunteers to experiment with and explore the various dimensions of leadership: vision, originality, style, risk, creativity, voice, and perspective, to name a few.
We must also continue to dissolve obstacles and provide a rewarding volunteer experience.
Part of that experience is the technology we provide.
The road has been rocky lately technologically speaking, but in the last year, we have seen tremendous examples of how we can provide our volunteers with the tools they need – and in some cases at little or no cost to the association.
The exponential growth of the recently launched wiki spaces is a clear indication our volunteer leaders and members are eager to use these tools. Over 30 wiki spaces with hundreds of pages of content have been created and more than 750 users have been setup to contribute to and improve this content.
The Chapter Cabinet has established the Chapter Idea Bank for the exchange of ideas and best practices between Chapters. Just think how our Chapters would have benefited from this cross-pollination of ideas had that space been available three, even two years ago!
Chapters, divisions, committees and caucuses themselves have started to use wiki spaces to document their own best practices and manage projects. SLA Toronto started this process in 2005 and I can tell you from personal experience that we have had tremendous success in our ability to transition our volunteers year-over-year.
And here in Seattle we are launching the SLA Innovation Laboratory, where you can experiment with emerging technologies on your own terms and where you can learn from other SLA members how they have used various tools to deliver products and services to their clients.
SLA needs to continue to invest, be it time, talent, ideas or money, into technologies that support the valuable contribution of our volunteer workforce and the continuous learning and skills development of our members. As a member of the Board I would continue to advocate for these investments.
Since I first joined SLA, I have worn many hats: Programmer, Director, Public Relations Chair, Fundraiser, President, Writer, Editor, Webmaster, and probably most famously as the pleasantly irritating technology guy from SLA Toronto.
And as an information professional, I have successfully built my own information service from scratch in a small, yet information intensive and research-based communications consulting firm.
Over the years I have been forced me to constantly diversify my skills, and this will make me a true asset to SLA’s Board.
Five minutes isn’t much time to share with you all of my ideas, so I hope we will have a chance to chat here at conference while in line for coffee, wandering the Exhibit Hall or at the Open Houses. And for those of you out there watching this video, you can easily find me in cyberspace. My contact information can be found on the SLA Toronto website: www.sla.org/toronto.
Like you, I am a volunteer. I am involved with SLA because I genuinely enjoy the work and the people who make this association great. And like you I want to see our profession continue to succeed as we start our second century as an association.