We are heeding the research results as well as the call from our members that our name no longer represents who we are and the value we add for our employers.
The research they are alluding to is the SLA Alignment Project , although I can't find much specifically on the topic of renaming. Judging from the blog post linked to above, the motivation is the perceived need to come up with a name that means something to companies, executives, or anyone else who relies on the services of specialized libraries.
I'm not sold that a name change is what is needed at this point, or rather, is where the SLA should be investing its energies. As a professional organization, the SLA does represent the profession and is responsible for promoting the profession. However, the language in the announcement suggests that the SLA executive has confused the SLA the organization with being the profession (i.e. "our name no longer represents who we are and the value we add for our employers" (emphasis mine)).
The problem with this is that is makes the exercise of renaming the organization that much harder, since it challenges the professional identities of people, asking them to give a name to what they do. And whatever is decided, a line will be drawn with some people included and others feeling less so.
What I'd like to see is what specifically is wrong with Special Libraries Association? I've never liked 'special' as a descriptor, since the links to its origins (specialized libraries) are not clear. 'Association' can't be a problem, so I would guess that it again comes down to 'libraries' being a bad word.
In any case, some folks have started a forum to discuss potential name changes.
Coming up with a better name is going to be a long process, one that will consume a lot of time and resources, and on that is likely to generate a fair amount of heat (as opposed to light) between those involved. It is a costly undertaking, and one that is unlikely to generate any real benefits for its members. Does anyone think that a name change of the professional association is going to create job opportunities for its members?
In the end, I think the SLA would have been better to just stick with SLA, but have it mean nothing. "It used to stand for Special Libraries Association, but now it doesn't mean anything."
There. Done. Now, on to more important things...