The Special Libraries Association

Summary of Consultants Recommendations Report

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UPDATE: Please listen to the SLA Town Hall Recording or check out the Notes from SLA Town Hall.


To All SLA NY Chapter Members – Currently, SLA is facing a serious financial situation at a national level. A steady decline in membership and revenues over the past few years has placed the future of the organization in jeopardy. The national Board engaged change consultants who have recently published a report (see attached) to provide recommendations for the future strategic direction of SLA. You can also find the full report without needing a login at the link below:

Below is a summary of the consultants’ Recommendations Report (although we encourage you to read all 49 pages for yourself in your free time!). Please note that the Consultants’ report is a recommendation to the board. The board must vote and pass the recommendations at a Special Board meeting on June 24th. The SLA NY chapter has a limited period of time between now and June 16th at 5:00pm (the cut-off period for the board to receive comments) to communicate to the SLA national board the interests of the NY chapter. At the end of this email is a summary of next steps for chapter leadership and for you as an individual member.

Consultants’ Recommendations Report Summary: Centralize educational, sponsorship and networking opportunities as much as possible so that SLA functions as one association rather than as individual chapters and divisions acting independently most of the time (see Area IV – Key Strategy 1 on p. 5).

Key proposals & the impact of the proposed recommendations affecting NY chapter members are listed below with section and page reference numbers. Please note that the recommendations are proposed to be implemented as a package.



  • Chapter Finances


  • 7.2.a.2 Terminate annual allotments to units (p. 35)
  • 7.1 (p. 34) & 7.5 Assess up to 40% of chapter funds (p. 37)
  • 3.1.3 Sponsorship is centralized at the SLA HQ level and revenue shared 50/50 with chapter and SLA HQ only when unit contributes to successful conclusion of a sponsorship agreement (pp. 9 & 35).

Potential Impact:

  • The Chapter’s annual operating budget will be severely curtailed. It is unclear how social / conversational / networking type programming will be funded along with any financial grants to members such as scholarships and awards. We do not know how business partners feel about this arrangement.



  • Chapter Education & Networking Events


  • 4.1 Centralized provision of educational content by SLA HQ (pp. 13-14)

Potential Impact:

  • The Chapter’s role as a provider of educational programs will be removed or reduced. Large and expensive programs like SLA NY’s annual conference may discontinue, and it is unclear what role the chapter would play in providing educational programming.



Chapter Representation at the SLA Board level


  • 6.1.e.2  Reduce the Board’s size by sunsetting the cabinet roles (p. 29)

Potential Impact:

  • Less or no representation for the Chapters and Divisions at Board level, with potentially fewer opportunities for sharing ideas and knowledge, especially local innovations, between units.


Below is a link to a brief survey with a deadline of Tuesday, June 2nd to find out how you, as a SLA and SLA NY chapter member feel about key recommendations in the report affecting the NY chapter.


Next steps for chapter leadership and for you as an individual member:

  • Chapter leadership will submit questions in advance to the May 27th Town Hall meeting. Emma Davidson SLA-NY President-Elect will send notes to the membership after the meeting.
  • Survey results will inform chapter leadership comments to the SLA National Secretary, who will share them with the SLA National Board. Comments will also be used to create SLA NY chapter talking points for conversations with SLA National Board members at SLA Boston in June. We will share these talking points with the chapter in advance, and NY chapter members are encouraged to use them when speaking to SLA national leadership.
  • At SLA Boston, SLA NY chapter leadership will attend the Open Session Board meeting on Saturday June 13th as well as the Business Meeting on Tuesday June 16th at 5pm. These events will be summarized for chapter members.

If you have any questions or comments please feel free to reach out to Marcy Winkler, SLA NY Chapter President, Emma Davidson SLA NY Chapter President-Elect, as well as to any of the chapter Executive Board members. Our contact information is listed below and we look forward to hearing your thoughts. And please join the discussion via social media on Twitter at hashtag #SLANewYork.


Marcy Winkler, President

Emma Davidson, President-Elect

Kara Masciangelo, Treasurer

Tom Nielsen, Professional Development

Helen Sobolik, Secretary

Nicole Dupras, Communications Chair

Nick Collison, Past President

Sarah Davis, Mentee

Jeanine McPartlin, Mentee

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