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October 16, 2009


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Lee Ann R. Benkert

Can you point to where you are reading the comments, Mary Ellen? I'd love to see members' thoughts, but so far, I've only seen comments on the ASKPro facebook page. Thanks.


Mary Ellen -- You are assuming here that YOU are the better professional. It's not nice to assume.

Then again maybe it comes with being an ASKpro.

How one feels about the new name is a personal and professional view. Some members don't think it's a good one and doesn't describe them -- no need to malign them professionally.


I don't think that Mary Ellen is trying to malign anyone. She's simply saying that professionals need to look at what they do and what they want then vote accordingly. I strongly encourage everyone to examine what they want from their organization and choose accordingly. Personally I think the name proposed is a load of crap describes an even smaller segment of the organization. I am also dismayed that there are no other options. The whole things smacks of herding cattle to slaughter and I simply cannot support that. I hope that this round goes down to defeat, but that it will spark a more lively and inclusive discussion of the data.

Michelle Drabik

A similar discussion is going on in the CI community because of the recent change in SCIP. The changing information landscape seems to be triggering identity crises. (That's not bad.)

There's a sense of "Who are we?" in a name. But, when it comes down to it, that answer is different for everyone.

In my company, we plan to reintroduce the term "library" into my department's name so that our ever-expanding customer base more easily understands what we do. "Information," "knowledge," etc. tend to confuse them. But our library staff (and our management) defines our role more in the way you describe, Mary Ellen.

Ultimately, the name of a professional organization has little to do with who I actually am as a professional. It's my job to define my own professional identity, identify my team's role in our company, and convey the message of what my team and I can do for our customers.

I think SLA and ASKpro both convey something that can work. Maybe it's time for a change, if only to signal the (r)evolution within our field. Change can be refreshing even if it's imperfect.

Eric Schwarz - EricTheLibrarian.com

Michelle, You make an excellent point. I agree that the ASKP/ASKPro name is not perfect. We've had another imperfect name for 100 years, but ASKPro is an improvement and more accurately reflects what many of us do or how we would like to be perceived. One of the problems with the SLA name is that it refers to institutions rather than individuals.


Hi Mary Ellen, I totally agree with you. I am a new librarian starting out and it really discourages me to see so many librarians arguing and fighting over an association name change. Can't we just all get along? Just because SLA changes its name does not mean it will stop representing librarians. Where in the research or the SLA website did it ever say that when the name changes it's game over for special librarians? How come I understand this and others don't? I recently got married and changed my name. Did I lose my identity? Will my family disown me for taking my husband's name? Of course not! Geez, my fellow librarians! Please stop arguing over a name! You're not being great examples for the young and bright eyed new librarians. I want to see an association that is progressive, that expands my options...I want to belong to an association that cares about my future! SLA wants to change its name so I'll always have a job not only as a librarian in a library but as a strategic knowledge professional that can add value to any organization regardless of what job title that organization decides to give me. I'm for the name change and the alignment project!


I would like to be known and addressed as the "Information god." Women may be addressed as "Information goddess."

Thank you.

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