Post-Virus Plans Should Include Those Who Manage Information

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The Special Libraries Association issues its official statement encouraging government, business, and academic leaders to take a long-term view and begin preparing for the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. A critical step in this process is retaining and compensating staff who manage the information resources that power business, civic, and academic operations, even if such operations must be suspended temporarily.

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SLA calls on all employers to support librarians and information professionals by recognizing their value, retaining them as employees and including them in post-pandemic plans.

In this time of growing worry and uncertainty, information is one of our most trusted and comforting resources. As an organization whose members work with information and information resources every day, the Special Libraries Association encourages the development and sharing of information and celebrates the many important contributions that librarians and information professionals make to their employers, clients and communities.

SLA recognizes that the dangers posed by the COVID-19 virus outweigh the benefits of operating public-facing libraries and information organizations during this public health crisis. Accordingly, SLA supports decisions to close such facilities until public health and medical experts determine that it is safe to reopen them.

At the same time, we encourage government, business, and academic leaders to take a long-term view and begin preparing for the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. A critical step in this process is retaining and compensating staff who manage the information resources that power business, civic, and academic operations, even if such operations must be suspended temporarily.

“Cutting library and information professionals during economic downturns has proven to have negative consequences and is increasingly short-sighted in a global marketplace that is becoming more interconnected with each passing day,” says Tara Murray, SLA 2020 President. “SLA is doing its part to support library and information professionals during the COVID-19 pandemic by providing educational resources and tools that facilitate networking and information sharing. SLA calls on all employers to support librarians and information professionals by recognizing their value, retaining them as employees and including them in post-pandemic plans.”

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The Special Libraries Association (SLA) is a nonprofit global organization for innovative information professionals and their strategic partners in business, government, academic, and other “specialized” settings.

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Kathy Bradley
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