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The mission of the Minnesota
Chapter of the Special Libraries Association is to provide a forum
wherein individuals with a professional, scientific, or technical
interest in special librarianship or information management can advance
their intellectual capabilities and applied skills to benefit themselves,
their organizations, and society.
RELATIONS: Integrate new members and stimulate increased member
participation to keep the Chapter vital and active.
EDUCATION: Provide strategic professional development opportunities
that address both the diversity of members and the changing information
NETWORKING: Strengthen and support member-to-member access and
communication to take full advantage of specialized expertise and
knowledge within the Chapter.
COMMUNICATIONS: Continue to develop the chapter's existing communications
infrastructure. Promote and support the Chapter's activities by developing
more content to publish through the various channels developed.
RELATIONS: Develop a public relations strategy that communicates
the purpose and value of the information professionals in the Minnesota
Chapter to employers and the general public.
ADMINISTRATION: Strengthen and support the administrative structure
of the Chapter Executive Committee and Committee Chairs.
MENTORING: Provide opportunities for mentoring within the Chapter
and the profession.
Integrate new members
and stimulate increased member participation to keep the Chapter vital
- Develop new strategies
and refine existing programs for welcoming and mainstreaming new
members. Possible strategies include:
-- Continue a "first
meeting mentor" program (a current member would volunteer to host
a new member at his or her first meeting).
-- Hold an annual
reception to recognize and welcome members who have joined during
- Develop strategies to
retain current Chapter members and recruit new ones. Possible strategies
-- Recruit all people who subscribe to the Chapter discussion list
but are not SLA members to become SLA and MN Chapter members.
-- Continue to provide high-quality speakers on relevant, contemporary
topics at Chapter programs or continuing education events. " Create
programs that recognize contributions to the chapter and to the
- Regularly measure member
satisfaction with Chapter programs, activities and member benefits
and investigate potential barriers to participation/meeting attendance.
Possible strategies include:
-- Perform a member survey every 3 to 5 years to address satisfaction
with current activities, unmet needs and possible barriers to participation.
-- Use meeting evaluation forms to gather input on the quality of
-- Hold focus group interviews with members who are not active to
help identify unmet needs and barriers.
-- Add feedback button on the Chapter web page to collect comments
from members who might never fill out a survey form.
-- Utilize quick survey methodology, such as SurveyMonkey, as appropriate
to solicit input or feedback from Chapter members.
- Stimulate greater member
participation through communication of opportunities for participation
in Chapter and Association activities and recruitment for committee
work of people who have not been involved previously. Strategies
-- Benchmark other SLA chapters and information organizations as
sources of ideas to encourage member participation and input.
- Establish mechanisms
to recognize member contributions. Possible strategies include:
-- Establish a program for recognizing Chapter members who author
professional articles, papers and presentations.
-- Establish means to recognize members who have volunteered their
services to the Chapter during the year.
Provide strategic professional
development opportunities that address both the diversity of members
and the changing information environment.
- Offer at least one
educational opportunity per year that focuses on important changes
in information technologies and information management.
- Plan and implement
at least one professional development opportunity per year that
focuses on leadership skills and techniques.
- Sponsor a joint meeting
with a local association that has similar professional development
interests (e.g. the American Marketing Association, Society of Competitive
-- Explore joint meeting with business groups (e.g., American Management
Association) or business schools (e.g. St. Thomas or UM Carlson
School of Business) to facilitate better understanding on role and
value of special librarians.
- Determine funding options
and procedures for providing grants to members who wish to pursue
further professional development opportunities.
- Continue aggressive
program of fundraising to provide lower cost educational programs
to members. Possible strategies include:
-- Obtain vendor sponsorship of a CE event and ensure that attendees
know the "full" rate vs. the "reduced" rate due to vendor sponsorship.
-- Obtain vendor sponsorship for one or more "scholarships" to a
CE event " Establish a Chapter "CE scholarship" for one or more
-- Approach vendors for support for the Aspnes scholarship.
Strengthen and support
member-to-member access and communication to take full advantage of
specialized expertise and knowledge within the Chapter.
- Encourage and support
formal or informal interest groups within the Chapter (e.g. solo
librarians or engineering librarians).
- Promote member expertise
through such methods as short presentations at monthly meetings,
spotlight articles in the Bulletin, poster sessions or discussion
- Ensure that all Chapter
members are subscribed to the Chapter discussion list or have the
opportunity to subscribe.
-- Send an annual email notice to all Chapter members with email
addresses regarding how to subscribe to the Chapter discussion list,
followed by a postcard to their US mailing address with the same
- Prepare and communicate
guidelines to expand the use of the Chapter discussion list to include
items other than meeting announcements
- Encourage board members
to disperse and circulate at chapter meetings to encourage communication
Continue to develop
the chapter's existing communications infrastructure. Promote and
support the Chapter's activities by developing more content to publish
through the various channels developed
- Establish a Communications
group to evaluate what content should be communicated to members
and how this may best be communicated.
- Use the Chapter discussion
list to promote Chapter events and lively interchange on professional
and chapter related topics or issues. One way to do this may be
-- Develop a policy for expanded use of the chapter discussion list,
including how the list will be monitored (suggestion: use the SLA
Leadership Discussion List as a model)
- Work on ways to optimize
and use the website, bulletin, discussion list, posting of the minutes,
to increase chapter communications.
- Communicate a summary
of chapter meetings.
- Find ways to incent
membership to add to chapter communications (meeting summaries,
Develop a public relations
strategy that communicates the purpose and value of information professionals
in the Chapter to employers and the general public.
- Establish a task force
to define the key message about the Chapter and explore strategies
for marketing and promotion.
- Develop a Minnesota
Chapter message using Association materials to promote SLA locally.
Strengthen and support
the administrative structure of the Chapter Executive Committee and
Committee Chairs of the Minnesota Chapter.
Encourage board members
to delegate and create committees, both to help with the workload
and to create new opportunities for member participation. An example
of such a committee is the current Membership committee. Possible
committees to create include:
-- Awards committee
to create and maintain various forms of recognition to encourage
member participation and development.
committee to develop communications technologies and content.
-- Program committee
to continue to create interesting chapter activities and programs.
for mentoring within the Chapter and the profession.
- Continue to work with
the Student mentoring chair to develop a mentor program for upcoming
professionals in cooperation with the College of St. Catherine and
other appropriate educational institutions.
- Develop a program to
mentor and develop the elected and appointed Chapter leadership.
Possible strategies include:
-- Require board members to have a written training plan to assist
transition to newly elected/appointed members.
-- Structure the transition business meeting (currently the summer
meeting) to give time to educating new board members in their roles.