John DiGilio - SLA Treasurer - DiGilio mentioned the diversity of SLA members. He noted that the sun never sets on SLA, because we have members around the world. He reminded us that we are one SLA. SLA is our home.
Challenges - Protracted period of global instability. Changes in how our industry world.
Challenges in balancing revenue and expenses. A decade ago, our revenues were higher than our expenses. That has changed. We have had to bring our expenses in line with our shrinking revenues. We have cut expenses and even staff. Our staff has helped with this effort.
Our membership has decreased from just under 12000 in 2003 to about 8000 in 2014. (I believe I notes those numbers correctly.). We need to grow our membership and engage our members.
Our last challenge is our conference. We rely heavily on having a successful conference financially. We need to have a conference that is worthy of our attendance.
Opportunities - We must rise and meet these challenges. We must turn these trends around. We must seize the possibilities. We all must be in this together.
- Invest in yourself
- Invest in SLA
- Invest in tomorrow
- Invest in the NEW!
Be the change that you want to see in the industry.
There are many activities occurring to create that change that us needed.
The solution to the puzzle requires involvement from all of us.
Cost is seen as a barrier to greater involvement in SLA. Rather than seeing SLA as a cost, see involvement in SLA as an investment in our futures. SLA is an investment in tomorrow.
SLA was founded by a few people in 1909. It will now take many more people to ensure its future.
Janice Lachance - SLA CEO - More than 360 first timers at this conference.
The first law of any association is that it won't succeed, unless its members succeed. She thanked us for investing in our own success.
Lachance recognized and thanks Kate Arnold, Board of Directors, and other volunteer leaders. She also thanked the 2014 Annual Conference Advisory Council. Finally, she thanked IHS and LexisNexis, who funded three new conference scholarships.
Our fastest growing chapters are the Arabian and Asian chapters. Those that live outside the U.S. report being more satisfied with the Association than those inside the U.S. The member survey showed that most members are planning on renewing their membership and are willing to recommend SLA to others. The Annual Conference is our highest rated product/service.
This year, the Annual Conference had new elements, including the quick takes and spotlight sessions. Lachance said that she looks forward to what our feedback will be on those elements.
We need to take advantage of new technology as we deliver services to our members. Lachance spoke specifically about the Twitter chats that have occurred this year and the report that was developed by the Financial Times (http://www.sla.org/building-sla-financial-times-research-report-download-today/). Finally, she pointed to the special conference issue of Information Outlook, which is only available in print and is focused on jobs.
Lachance spoke about recruiting new members and developing loyal members.
The Competencies Task Force was mentioned and the work it is doing to update the competencies, which were last updated in 2003.
Finally she talked about the work that is being done at HQ in Alexandria. Staff has been identifying its strengths and focusing its efforts, including a new format for Information Outlook, new abilities for members to update their membership info, and more.
Kate Arnold - SLA President - She began by recognizing the SLA staff, whose hard work keeps the Association going. She also thanked the 2013 and 2014 Boards of Directors for the challenges that they have taken on.
Her theme has been "Beyond Borders." She has been living her theme by visiting members around the world. Through these visits, she sees the diversity of our members. What she heard:
- The need to expand skills sets to include project management
- Demands for expanded services
- Doing mor with less
- Needs to share best practices
- Need for up to date competencies
- Information management
- Need to work globally across time zones
Top concerns from our member survey:
- Not enough budget
- Not enough staff
- Career stagnation
- Lack of value to our organizations
Arnold then talked about the decision to put our HQ building on the market. It could take a year for it to sell. In thinking about the Association's future, there are three things that are important:
- Value of the information profession
- The value of SLA
- The value of member experience
Arnold recognized and thanked those that are running for the Board of Directors, pointed out the Nominating Committee, and thanked SLA volunteers.