Just about everyone coming back from the business meeting commented on the dire shape of the association's financials. First, times are tough everywhere and association memberships are down across the board. Librarians are being furloughed so there's no extra money there to pay for expenses if their organizations can't.
Second, there's an elephant in the room that no one is mentioning in regards to membership renewals and meeting attendance: some of us haven't gotten over the name change vote and how disaffected we feel as a result of the entire mess. This isn't the reason I didn't go. I did renew my membership. I did so only because of the Physics-Astronomy-Math division and the Chemistry division. It's clear that the association leadership and I really have nothing in common.
That disconnect also showed up in our survey, along with the perception (correct or incorrect) that SLA was spending money on this when the financial climate was already looking grim.
I hope over the next year we hear more from SLA about what they're going to do to improve the association finances, beyond "we're going to review everything."
.: Christina: I know you thought the name change was a bad idea. It didn't pass, we are still SLA. I assume this is the outcome you wanted. How are you feeling disaffected at this point? I'm just curious, I would like you to expand on what you wrote above, to explain what you mean.
I agree, SLA should definitely improve association finances, we all know what "we are going to review it" means"
I missed the business meeting this year partly because I suspected we wouldn't be told the exact state of affairs, so at least they opened up somewhat. I think the core issue is that the association is top-down rather than bottom-up, with most initiatives started at the top that try to gather buy-in (like the "ambassadors" for the name change) rather than looking at the membership and responding to issues that arise at that level, like library closings and layoffs. The proposed name change was a good example of that but I'm sure there are others, like the alignment project.