Summing up 2019 with Simon Burton

Summing up a great year for SLA Europe with Past President Simon Burton

2019 was another year of firsts for SLA Europe including our first conference.

We all know the information profession is going through profound change which has resulted in some proposed changes to how SLA is going to operate in the years ahead. Like all organisations we must adapt with the times. Members will have seen some of this on SLA Connect. As with all change there will be some pain along the way as we create new ways of doing things however I have confidence in the board under Tara Murray continuing the work Hal Kirkwood put into place in 2019 that they are making the necessary changes to our organisation to help us thrive into the future.

Thank you

Thank you to our fantastic board and committees – it’s quite humbling seeing all the work that goes on behind the scenes to make an organisation like SLA Europe work. Everyone in the chapter is a volunteer giving up their free time to support and shape the industry. We all make great professional connections and friends along the way. It’s been incredibly encouraging to see growth in the European membership and I look forward to continuing to support Seema Rampersad our 2020 President over the course of the year.

Extra special thanks go to our kind sponsors this year without which our events programme wouldn’t be possible:

Statista, ISKO, OpenAthens, CB Resourcing, TFPL, Slaughter & May, OneLog ITS

This year saw a number of initiatives that both brought in new members but also forged deeper connections across the existing membership with a focus on being more accessible to our geographically dispersed membership.

  • SLA Europe’s first conference, held at the University of Cambridge. This was a modestly priced event that was only possible due to the goodwill and efforts of our fantastic volunteers. Feedback on the programme was fantastic and I’m proud to say we are already beginning the planning of our next conference in 2021, which will be SLA Europe’s 50th year.
  • SLA Europe events are now webcast on a regular basis. We’ve found it’s often the case that we have more people dialling into our events than in the room such as at our fantastic Blockchain event this year kindly hosted by Slaughter & May.
  • Our committees have successfully put together regional events such as our Cambridge Quiz and continued to offer our platform and committees to collaborated with other networks such as an upcoming event with NLPN in Manchester.


As an organisation SLA Europe’s strength is based on its volunteers. If you want to help shape the agenda come and get involved.  There are a wide range of opportunities for members and we have volunteers based across Europe.

  • If you have ideas for events and are prepared to take ownership, the events committee will help you plan logistics and offer support with ticketing and promotion. All of our events are run by volunteers so if we don’t have something local to you it’s usually because we don’t have a local volunteer, we are always keen to help members create something.
  • If you’d like to develop new skills, there are a wide range of areas where you can take part from awards to digital communications.

SLA is a platform and the value is what you the membership makes it.

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