James E. Manasco has been a member of SLA since 1994, where he is a member of the Kentucky Chapter, the Canadian Chapter, the Science-Technology, the Leadership & Management, Academic, Information Technology, and Physics, Astronomy and Mathematics Divisions. He currently serves as Director-at-Large for the SLA Board of Directors and Past President of the Kentucky Community. Previously, he has served in a variety of leadership roles, including Chair of the Science-Technology and Information Technology Divisions, President of the Kentucky Chapter (thrice) and Chair of the 2010 Annual Conference Advisory Council. James is also the co-presenter, with Mary Frances Lembo, of the very popular Sci-Eng 101 series of programs that have been at SLA Annual each year since 2004. James was awarded the Kentucky Chapter’s Professional Award in 2004, its’ Outstanding Member Award in 2007, and its’ Larry Besant Professional Award in 2021. James was named a Fellow of SLA in 2010. James is currently disabled. He formerly served as School Librarian for Wayland Alexander Elementary from August 2015-May 2018. Prior to that, he served in a variety of positions at the University of Louisville in Louisville, Kentucky from July 2003-July 2015; Head of the Robert E. Shaver Library of Engineering at the University of Kentucky (1999-2003) and Natural Sciences Liaison Librarian at Colorado College’s Tutt Library in Colorado Springs, Colorado (1996-1999). James received his MSLS in 1996 and his BA in 1994, both from the University of Kentucky. James resides in Hartford, Kentucky at Manasco Acres with his wife Melanie and three children, Kayden, Jay and Tatum; one beagle, Peppermint.
Selected SLA Service:
- Director, SLA Board of Directors. January 2023-December 2025
- Past President, Kentucky Community. 2023
- President, Kentucky Community. 2022
- Convener/Chair, Fellows of SLA. 2021 and 2022
- President-Elect, Kentucky Community. 2021
- Chair, Membership Priorities (AKA Member Preferences) Task Force June-December 2014
- Appointed by SLA President. Given the task of reviewing various surveys to formulate a prioritized list of membership needs that the board can address.
- Chair, SLA Nominating Committee. February 2013-April 2014
- President, Kentucky Chapter. January-December 2013
- Chair-Elect, SLA Nominating Committee. July 2012-February 2013
- Chair, 2013 Program Planning Committee, Leadership and Management Division. January 2012-June 2013
- Member, Nominating Committee, Kentucky Chapter June-September 2011
- Chair, SLA Emergency Preparedness & Recovery Advisory Council. January 2011-December 2012
- Member, Nominating Committee, IT Division April-June 2010
- Candidate, Chapter Cabinet Chair-Elect, SLA. March 2010-October 2010
- Editor, Sci-Tech News. January 2009-December 2010
- Chair, SLA 2010 Annual Conference Advisory Council June 2008-June 2010.
- Chair, Information Technology Division. January-December 2008
- Chair, SLA’s Bylaws Committee. January-December 2008
- Chair, Committee for Local Arrangements and Planning, Kentucky Chapter. SLA Leadership Summit in Louisville, KY. January 2007-January 2008
- Chair, Nominating Committee, Kentucky Chapter. January-March 2009; June-October 2008
- Candidate, Chapter Cabinet Chair-Elect, SLA. March 2005-March 2006
- Program Planner, Information Technology Division. January 2005-June 2006
- President, Kentucky Chapter. July 2003-June 2004
- Chair, Sci-Tech Division. July 2003-June 2004
- Member, SLA’s Public Relations Committee. July 2001-June 2003
- Director-at-Large, Kentucky Chapter. July 2000-June 2002
- Chair, Digital Content Section, IT Division. July 2000-June 2001
- Chair, Membership Committee, Sci-Tech Division. July 2000-June 2002
- Chair, Professional Development Committee, PAM Division. July 2000-June 2002
- Convener, Sci-Tech Division’s Contributed Papers Session, 2001 SLA Annual Conference. July 2000-July 2001
- Chair, Student Relations Committee, Sci-Tech Division. July 1998-June 1999
- Chair, Awards Committee, IT Division. July 1997-June 2000
- Chair, Government Relations Committee, Sci-Tech Division. July 1995-June 1996
James's Platform for the 2022 Election:
I believe SLA has a viable future as an independent organization.
I believe we must decide what we are as an association and perform a true audit of our services and benefits to deliver a cost-efficient portfolio of networking and educational opportunities our members truly value. This will ensure SLA survives and thrives. This audit should be done in collaboration with the current board and new board members once they are identified. One area in desperate need for review and updating is our Annual Conference. Planning timeline, sponsorship levels from our vendor partners, location selection, whether it will be held in-person every year or will alternate with a virtual offering, among other important issues, all need in depth review.
I believe we need to support and strengthen our Communities so they can provide better opportunities for education and networking. These Communities are the inherent strength of SLA, when they are properly supported, their programming and members will naturally help to attract and retain SLA members. Reinvigorating the Community Forum and Association Committee structure to provide more opportunities for members to serve will also help attract those who need such service in their careers.
I believe we must seek alternatives to our current association management company (AMC) so that we do not continue to spend more revenue than we make on AMC fees. Depending on our financial resources, SLA can hire a right-sized AMC, or a small staff, or, if necessary, create a volunteer back office made up of SLA members, or some combination of volunteers and one or two staff or contract employees, until we have the fiscal means to secure an AMC or professional staff again responsibly. Developing this strategy must be done collaboratively with the current board and new board members once they are identified.
I believe we need the full Board working collaboratively to address SLA’s critical issues. We can no longer have all major decisions being made by the Executive Committee alone. I encourage the adoption of the recently submitted, member driven, Bylaws Amendment to address this.
I believe we need more openness and transparency from our Board and staff. The Openness and Transparency Document that was adopted by our Board after over a year of work does not seem to be a priority for all actions of the Board. I would work collaboratively with other Board members to improve the current document and ensure that the Board not only complies with its written requirements, but also the spirit of the same.
I believe we must have clearly-defined, fairly-administered, and openly-shared policies and procedures concerning conduct on SLA’s platforms to not only encourage true inclusion of all diverse viewpoints and communities, but also to engender more confidence in our leadership. If elected, I volunteer to lead a working group to develop these policies and procedures and champion their swift adoption.
I believe we need more energy and engagement from our staff and our Board. With all Board members sharing and speaking openly on Connect and with our members, not just our President and Managing Director.
I believe we need a stronger handle on our investments and a more forward-thinking strategy for their management. I believe the full board, not just the Finance Committee and Executive Committee, should have complete access to all financial documents and information, including contracts and agreements SLA has made. Greater knowledge of our financial situation can only lead to better strategies for addressing critical financial issues with a full Board working collaboratively to enact responsible actions for the security of SLA.