Wednesday, February 10, 2010

DC/SLA Chapter President's Summary of DC/SLA Board Actions - January 2010 meeting


First, I’d like to say that I’m honored to be your 2010 DC/SLA Chapter President!  To help our membership know what the Washington DC Chapter of SLA is doing for you, I have decided to send out regular updates on the actions that have been taken at chapter board meetings. Our January meeting was the first official meeting of the 2010 DC/SLA Board, composed of:

  • James King, President 
  • Mary Talley, President-Elect 
  • Lorraine Bell, Second Vice President 
  • Greta Ober, Immediate Past President 
  • Eileen Deegan, Recording Secretary 
  • Gulnar Nagashybayeva, Treasurer 
  • Martha Reifschneider, Assistant Treasurer
  • Alison Raab-Labonte, Communications Secretary 
  • Lois Ireland, Fundraising Director 
  • David Hemingway, Membership Director

The first action to note is that due to the impending departure of Gulnar Nagashybayeva, the DC/SLA board has voted to bring Martha Reifschneider back as Assistant Treasurer to help this year. We have started up the nominating committee early to find a replacement treasurer so if you’re interested or know of someone who may be, please contact the nominating committee chair – Diane Schnurrpusch at

The focus of the January meeting was to describe the DC/SLA Strategic Plan and 2010 priorities. I first noted our history – that our awesome chapter members have won numerous awards (58 at last count), started new divisions (including Military Libraries Division and Government Information Division), hosted six annual conferences (including the Centennial Conference last year), and six of our members have advanced to lead our association (including Anne Caputo our current SLA President). Building upon the extensive successes of the past and leaning heavily upon our outstanding team of volunteers, I have high expectations of this being one of the best years for our chapter.

Despite our many successes and our enviable position, this isn’t a time to be resting on our laurels. I’ve worked in special libraries in the area for the past 20 years and I’ve seen libraries as well as information centers struggle to adapt to the new digital environment and show value within their organizations, resulting in budget cuts, staff cuts, and closures-even prior to the Great Recession. The SLA Alignment Project helped us see the stakeholders’ and decision makers’ perspectives and how we can begin to reposition ourselves to be strategic in our organizations.


Jessica Beauchamp, the 2009 second-vice president, and her team updated the DC SLA Strategic Plan last year. She and her entire team did a great job creating a vision and a direction for our chapter. I will strive to do them honor by implementing as much of the strategic plan as I possible during my year of service. To start off, the new chapter vision states, “The Washington, DC Chapter of the Special Libraries Association is the recognized model of excellence as it prepares knowledge leaders for the future.”

This vision is driving everything that the DC SLA Board is working on for our chapter members, and is being carried out through five strategic goals:

  • Membership & Participation - Grow and support a vital and active chapter representing a broad demographic of information professionals. Priorities include establishing a volunteer coordinator position and a membership committee, and to promote volunteer opportunities.

  • Communications - Maintain a communications infrastructure providing timely and high quality information dissemination and exchange that benefits individual members and Chapter/Association leaders. Priorities include expanding the Communications Secretary to oversee all communications (Web, e-mail, and Chapter Notes), expanding the Archivist position to build a born-digital strategy for the chapter and to explore digitizing the existing chapter archives, and to simplify our Web site administration, adding collaboration options if possible.

  • Finances - Run a fiscally responsible organization. Priorities include maintaining a balanced budget with adequate reserves, providing quarterly financial summaries to chapter membership, and expanding fundraising/vendor relations efforts.

  • Outreach / Community Service - Provide outreach programs and community service opportunities for all members. Priorities include expanding mentoring efforts and enhancing mentoring opportunities, building an employment/career connection Web portal, creating a Retirement committee, and increasing connections to local and distance-learning schools utilizing liaisons.

  • Programming & Events - Provide the chapter’s broad demographic of membership with a variety of appealing and easily accessible programs and events, focusing heavily on professional development, but also including networking and special interest opportunities. Priorities include simplifying the event-ticketing process, coordinating with other local library groups by sharing calendar and producing joint programs, instituting new program series (i.e. library director series, technology series), and to make WebEx available at more programs to allow more of our members to participate in events/meetings.

For more details about each of these goals see the DC SLA Strategic Plan at The Strategic Plan and Priorities slide deck at, has information on how we plan to implement the Strategic Plan this year.

We’ve created a number of new committees and volunteer positions in the chapter to help execute this ambitious agenda. A sign-up web site has been setup at, to help us manage and clearly advertise volunteer opportunities. Having a diverse and active group of volunteers is critical to our success so please see if there is an opening that interests you.

- James

James King, MLS

President (2010)

Washington, DC Chapter

Special Libraries Association

No comments:

Post a Comment