The Special Libraries Association (SLA) announces the formation of a new professional interest division that will focus on issues related to planning, creating, maintaining and using taxonomies, thesauri, ontologies, authority files, and other controlled vocabularies and information structures. The Taxonomy Division of SLA will provide information professionals interested in these topics a focused professional home-base within SLA, cutting-edge learning opportunities, and access to a global network of colleagues.
“SLA members demonstrate expertise across a very broad spectrum of industries and disciplines, and the profession is rapidly growing to include an even wider range of career tracks,” said SLA Chief Executive Officer Janice R. Lachance. “With so many of our current members asking for the creation of a taxonomy division, it is clear that info pros are providing these type of value-added services to their employers, making information easier and faster to find, saving users valuable time, and ultimately contributing to cost-savings and a healthy bottom-line.”
SLA is organized into divisions representing subject interests, fields, or types of information-handling techniques. SLA Divisions conduct professional development, networking and knowledge programs during the association’s Annual Conference & INFO-EXPO. The new Taxonomy Division will join the ranks of functional, cross-industry professional interest groups such as the Knowledge Management, Competitive Intelligence and Information Technology Divisions.
“The creation of this division will build a corpus of best-practices and applicable knowledge for taxonomy professionals. Additionally, it is an excellent way for SLA to expand its membership in this cutting-edge area of expertise,” emphasized Division Chair Marjorie M.K. Hlava.
Hlava continued, “Taxonomies are widely used and increasingly proven to cut search time by more than 50 percent, increase worker productivity up to seven fold, and allow for location and application of mission-critical information throughout an organization. We are so pleased that SLA members and knowledge workers practicing in this area will be able join this network of taxonomy professionals within a premier professional organization with global reach.”
The Taxonomy Division will focus its professional development and networking activities around strategies to organize and structure information so that content is accessible and useful. The division’s focus encompasses traditional and emerging approaches to organizing information, and the full range of settings in which taxonomies are applied. Areas of interest include:
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.
To join the SLA, and the Taxonomy Division, access the membership form on the SLA Web site or call the SLA Membership Department at +1.703.647.4936
Special Libraries Association (SLA) is a nonprofit global organization for innovative information professionals and their strategic partners. SLA serves about 11,000 corporate, academic, government, and other information specialists in 75 countries. SLA promotes and strengthens its members through learning, advocacy, and networking initiatives. For more information, visit us on the Web at www.sla.org
Posted by Tom R.