Taxonomy Community

What is SLA?

The Special Libraries Association (SLA) is a nonprofit global organization for innovative information professionals and their strategic partners. SLA serves almost 9,000 members in 75 countries, including corporate, academic, and government information professionals. SLA promotes and strengthens its members through learning, advocacy, and networking initiatives. For more information, visit

About the Taxonomy Community

The Taxonomy Community addresses ways to organize and structure information so that content is accessible and useful. It offers a practical context for exploring issues and sharing experiences related to planning, creating and maintaining taxonomies, thesauri, authority files, and other controlled vocabularies and information structures. The division encompasses traditional and emerging cognitive approaches to organizing information and the full range of settings in which taxonomies are applied.

Who Should Join?

Anyone interested in or responsible for:

  • Strategies for planning and creating taxonomies— for example: identifying and articulating the need
    for taxonomies; demonstrating and communicating their value; analyzing existing vocabularies to inform the creation of new ones; and selecting technologies and tools to support them
  • Implementation, maintenance, and use of controlled vocabularies for all types of information and all relevant contexts, such as support for search and navigation
  • Standards, governance, and management of taxonomies and other controlled vocabularies
  • New and emerging approaches to organizing information, such as the semantic web, ontologies, folksonomies, and tagging, including relationships between user-generated tags and formal controlled vocabularies.

How to Join the Taxonomy Community

If you are not a member of SLA:
Visit the SLA website to join online or download a form to join by mail.

If you are a member of SLA:
Unlimited community memberships are included in the SLA membership fee.

Member Benefits

  • Add to or strengthen your knowledge with planned professional development opportunities and events
  • Participate in discussions and interact with others on the division website and
    the Taxonomy Members Connect
  • Be part of a global network of people working in related roles
  • Drive the direction of the Division and build your résumé by getting involved in committees
  • Access to the division bulletin, Taxonomy Times, for members only featuring:
    • Conference and meeting reports (SLA Conference, Taxonomy Boot Camp, InfoCamp Seattle, etc.)
    • Letters from the Chair
    • In-depth articles, e.g.
      • Taxonomy fairy tales: three fantasies about taxonomies in the enterprise
      • Choosing a taxonomy management tool
      • Starting your own taxonomy consultancy
    • Member profiles
  • Participate in the Mentoring Program as a mentor or protégé.
  • Attend regular free webinars available for members only.
  • Access to the members section on the division Wiki that includes:
  • Standards recap
  • Taxonomy FAQs
  • Taxonomy value and ROI

SLA Conference Taxonomy Sessions:

The Taxonomy Division sponsors several sessions at each SLA Conference. Topics covered in past sessions include:

  • Introduction to Taxonomies and Controlled Vocabularies
  • Advanced Taxonomy Topics
  • Taxoomies and the User Experience
  • Using Your taxonomy To Classify Images
  • Autocategorization and Human Tagging:  How Do They Work together?
  • Enhancing Intranet Search
  • Taxonomy Management Tools
  • Digital Libraries and Metadata
  • Taxonomies and SharePoint

Taxonomy Division Committees:

Get involved in the Taxonomy Division by joining one of the following committees. Contact the Division's committee chairs using the form below.

  • Archive
  • Bulletin
  • Membership
  • Mentoring
  • Networking
  • Nominations
  • Partner Relations
  • Professional Development
  • Program
  • Public Relations
  • Strategic Planning
  • Web and Connect