I ran out of cards Monday night.
That’s one of the most tangible pieces of evidence of just how many members I got to talk to during the SLA annual Conference in Vancouver. New members and veterans, former leaders and up-and-comers, first-timers* and folks who’d been to every conference for decades. It was a tremendous, wonderful, and nigh-overwhelming experience, and I want to thank all the members who took the time to speak with me about their lives, their work, and their relationship with SLA.
Of course, the other tangible piece of evidence is the pile of other folks’ business cards that I came home with:
As someone who’s putting myself forward as a potential leader of SLA, I don’t think there’s anything more important for me to do than listen to our members. As I’ve said before, we currently have an unprecedented amount of data on our members, and have gotten feedback from you all on so many important issues. It’s the responsibility of our leaders to listen well, and respond honestly, to your needs.
And honestly, I think we can do better. I think we need to do better. We need to answer concerns members have about the sale of the headquarters building. We need to provide better support to our conference planners. We need to be more transparent with the financial state of the Association. And we need to acknowledge that your concerns about the cost of the conference are not a question of your willingness to invest, but of your ability to do so.
These are all things that people spoke to me about in Vancouver. As a candidate for President-Elect, I was honored to hear them. I’ll do my best to make sure they get answered.
* Can I just say how much I love that SLA holds a dedicated event for first-timers? That’s something that more conferences should emulate.