From recent posts on SLA Connect "evolution" is the theme of the year. In keeping with this, I am submitting for consideration to the SLA Community a proposal for a NEW section to the Business & Finance Division. This section is tentatively named "Economic Development + Entrepreneurship."
If you support the creation of this section, please follow the link below, review the proposal, provide your input the comment section and add your digital signature at the end of the document. We are seeking 15 signatures at minimum to move forward for consideration. Please provide your support on or before Friday, March 15th, 2019.
I'm the Research & Strategy Librarian (researcher + data analyst) at a non-profit, arms-length municipal economic development organization (EDO). In the 3+ years I've worked at Calgary Economic Development I've gained deep insight into the information needs of municipal, provincial/state and federal EDOs, SMEs, entrepreneurs and startups. Last year at the SLA Baltimore conference, I socialized creating this new caucus / section. I've continued to socialize this new unit since Baltimore. Discussions have been positive and the proposal well-received. Although some of activities of this section may overlap with college and university business libraries (CUBL) or other sections, our client types, goals and outcomes and resources are distinct.
Economic development and entrepreneurship initiatives are vital to creating healthy, vibrant communities and economic prosperity. The highest profile example of economic development work was the announcement by Amazon of a second headquarters (HQ2) location. EDOs all over North America submitted proposals for the HQ2. This new section would provide a forum for information professionals working in urban economic development, as well as supporting smaller scale economic development activities, such as community economic development, entrepreneurship and startup activity, to share resources.
The information professional skillset is of great value to "innovation ecosystem work" and employment opportunities are available. Creation of this new section within the Business & Finance Division may support creating a wider funnel of potential sponsors, vendors and future members for SLA.
If you have any questions, comments or input about this initiative please feel free to contact me at any of the channels below. Thank you for considering this initiative.