Special Libraries Association

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Special Libraries Association
Formation 1909
Headquarters Alexandria, Virginia
Membership 9,000
Website Official website

Special Libraries Association (SLA) is an international professional association for library and information professionals working in business, government, law, finance, non-profit, and academic organizations and institutions.

While special libraries include law libraries, news libraries, corporate libraries, museum libraries, medical libraries, and transportation libraries, many information professionals today do not actually work in a library setting. They actively apply their specialized skills to support the information needs of their organizations.

SLA was founded in 1909 in the United States by John Cotton Dana. Dana served as the first president of SLA from 1909-1911.[1] It is now an international organization with over 9,000 members in over 75 countries. SLA is organized by 55 regional Chapters (geographic) and Divisions (topical) and special interest groups.[2] The association has a CEO (employee of the association) and an elected President (mandate of one year). Janice Lachance has served as CEO since 2003.

Members of SLA typically possess a master's degree in library or information science. Given the rapid adoption of information technologies for selecting, analyzing, managing, storing, and delivering information and knowledge, the average SLA member might be performing a range of services and employing a diverse mix of skills related to, but not exclusive of, library science.

Association activities include conferences, professional education, networking and advocacy.


SLA publishes Information Outlook (formerly Special Libraries), a magazine that is sent free of charge[3] to all members eight times a year.[4]

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