By Beth Maser, DC/SLA President
It seems that no matter where you turn these days, there is a candidate saying something you agree with, and another is not. There are politicians passing legislation that pushes us forward and others that set us back decades. How can we coexist in such a dichotomy as a society, individuals, and information professionals? While I do not want to turn this into a political commentary, I do believe that current events have made many of our members’ emotions run the gamut. I am very proud of our Chapter Board and our members in the way we thoughtfully discussed and handled the current events of the past month. While everyone may not share the same points of view, our membership was comfortable sharing their personal views, no matter which side of the debate they were on. [See the DC/SLA Board’s statement on SLA HQ’s motion to move the 2018 conference out of Charlotte, NC]
As information professionals we are intelligent, curious individuals with a desire to keep learning. We are passionate in our beliefs and tolerant of others’ opinions. While the political melee may be the hot button issue at the moment, we as a profession have been experiencing professional changes for quite a while. I do believe that current events will resolve themselves in a timely manner, but the challenges we are facing in the profession will not.
I would like us to take our collective activism and engagement with SLA to another level and work together to promote and encourage an increase in your participation at a local level. DC/SLA has always been one of the largest and most active chapters within SLA. Membership has been on the decline as information professionals have either left the profession, or have just let their membership lapse. Whatever the reason, I want to extend a very warm invitation to you to come back.
Just last week the chapter sponsored a wonderful event at the Sultan Qaboos Cultural Center with over 40 members and invited guests in attendance. The event: World Cultural Heritage Sites at Risk: Preservation Efforts in Libraries & Archives in the Middle East was a follow-up to an equally successful program on the same topic held last fall. Our members are mentoring other members, assisting with resumes, and facilitating introductions to employers. We are capable of so much more. Together we as a chapter can continue to do great things. Take all of the energy you have shown us when becoming involved in the various current event debates and channel it back into the chapter.
I am excited to see what we can do.