Proposed via twitter by @CyberV: "#slaname Specialized Librarians and Information Professionals (SLIP)... slip into our world."
Jun 25, 2009
I like this the best of the options I've seen. Most people within my division are academic librarians. To remove the name librarian from the organization would alienate many of us who are librarians. I understand that corporations may not think a "library" is as valued as a "research center" or whatever euphemism is being used, but in academia, libraries are still valued. I am a librarian of a specialized collection.
Luke, I think we need to get away from the librarian title and leave that for our colleages in the public and academic arena. In my company "researcher" is the title of choice. Employees understand immediately at least one function that I do. My choice? International Society of Professional Researchers (ISPR).
Alison does make a good point. But if you are going to define yourself as an academic librarian first, do we then need to align ourselves with that association like ACRL instead of SLA? This is a good start to further discussion.
from the "credit where credit is due" department: this particular name was not my suggestion, it came via twitter from @cyberv -- i just added it to the wiki to make sure it didn't get lost in the twitterstream. i have made my own suggestions elsewhere on this wiki.
Jackie, many academic librarians in SLA join because ACRL or other organizations do not meet their needs. I work for a small research institute at a university, SLA is a good fit for me because of the size of our library and our subject matter. I think that's one of the big issues with getting rid of "librarian" from the name. What does it mean for those of us who work in units that are still called libraries or those of us with librarian in our job title?
Jackie, ACRL isn't specialized enough by topic (nor should it be, necessarily) for my work as a physical sciences librarian at an academic institution. It addresses issues regarding my workplace and patrons (university faculty, staff, and students), but not those that are specific to my subject matter (physics, chemistry). SLA is great because it welcomes physics and chemistry librarians from all work environments, and we do have many shared, specialized concerns and interests.
Also, the term "professional researcher" may describe your work, but it certainly doesn't describe mine? In fact, I would say that I actually support "professional researchers" and those who aspire to be professional researchers. I think this is going to be an interesting conversation because we seem to be united by the fact that we are so specialized and different. It's going to be difficult to come up with a title that allows for this, while not being so vague as to be ridiculous.
Jun 29, 2009
I'm a new SLA member but a longtime librarian (MLS Dec. '81, University of Maryland). I joined ALA shortly before I got my MLS and have been a member ever since; for a while I was in ACRL, but after I'd been a reference librarian at the Free Library of Philadelphia for a while, I substituted RUSA (the Reference and User Services Association), then known as RASD, for it, since I couldn't afford everything and was (and have remained) involved in various committees of the History Section and other RUSA and ALA units including LIRT, the Library Instruction Round Table. My formal academic background is in history and languages, mainly French; less formally but just as extensively, I've studied and worked in health information, especially consumer-health information: I joined MLA almost nine years ago and have taken a number of their online courses towards a Consumer Health Information Specialist certificate. I've done a lot more than that in this field, and if you asked me whether I find history (and its cognates, including genealogy) or medicine and the history of medicine more fascinating, I'd have a hard time answering!
That wasn't supposed to be a resume (actually, I have five of those...all right, brag...), it was meant to support my view of SLA's Alignment Project and a suggestion for a new name that I'd like to throw into the hat. Some of my colleagues, and other librarians I know, have either cancelled their ALA memberships or never joined it, out of a sense that ALA focuses on advocating for libraries to such an extent that its interest in advocating for librarians appears to vanish. I'll continue to belong to ALA because of my involvement in its units that focus on history, genealogy and instruction, but I share some of my fellow librarians' frustration. Our academic and professional credentials - our degrees, our work experience and everything we learn, both at work and outside our organizations and companies, that enhances our value on the job - are often taken for granted, even by those for whom we provide the information and resources that sometimes lead them to tell us we've literally saved their lives. What happens then is that we're the first ones to feel the sharp swing of the budget's axe. Colleges, universities, private and public schools, companies, municipalities and organizations faced with financial difficulties cut their libraries' budgets without thinking about the ramifications of such actions. It's up to us to lead the fight against that bad habit. We need to make our vital role in whatever element of society we work in crystal clear - not just the role of our libraries, information centers or whatever they're called, but OUR role, as the professionals we are. Those of us who have been in the business for a long time have a particular obligation, since we have not only our degrees but the knowledge of our subject areas, our jobs and our institutions that can only come with experience. We're the role models for our junior colleagues, for future information professionals and for our clients. Alignment? What the heck has taken us all so long?!
End of pep talk...now for a name. One of my colleagues and I, simultaneously but independently, came up with one we both like. Since SLA's members come from and work in many countries, how about the International Association of Information Professionals? I know, the abbreviation IAIP isn't really a pronounceable acronym, but neither is AIIP, the Association of Independent Information Professionals.
Jul 05, 2009
I like this one a lot. Using "Specialized" instead of "Special" is a huge improvement alone, IMO, though I'd be interested to know how it does with the public.
Jul 08, 2009
That's it! The use of "specialized" provides the perfect acronym - International Network of Specialized Information Professionals and Information Designers - INSIPID!
Jul 15, 2009
Specialized Librarian and Information Professionals (International)
I like this name best because it includes the labels Librarian and Information Professional. We need to recognize that this organization has professionals in the public, academic and corporate setting. We need a name that acknowledges all of our membership.
Jul 17, 2009
I'd like this better with "Association of" parked in front of it - ASLIP (Assn of Specialized Library and Info Pros). Averts unfortunate lingerie reference in the acronym form.
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