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A New Decade-The 1980's

The new decade opened with another period of economic decline which created operational challenges for SELA.

The Birmingham conference in 1980 observed the sixtieth anniversary of the Association with the publication of The Southeastern Library Association, Its History and Its Honorary Members, 1920-1980 edited by Ellis Tucker. The 1980-82 biennium saw the addition of three new Round Tables: Library Instruction, Online Search Librarians, and Government Documents. Several workshops were conducted during the biennium, including: "Library Marketing," sponsored by the Public Relations Committee; "From Tape to Product: Some Practical Considerations" sponsored by the Resources and Technical Services Section; "Crisis in the Southeast" (focusing on children's services) sponsored by the School and Children's Librarians' Section.

At the 1982 conference held in Louisville, a re-issued, fully revised and expanded Handbook was distributed, the first to be available to the entire membership, with procedures, histories of committees, a membership directory and advertisements. Louisiana became the eleventh constituent member.

In the spring of 1987, President Charles Beard recommended, upon examination of SELA's organizational structure, that the Legislative/Library Cooperation Committee be split, as it once had been, into two separate committees, because of the need for increased emphasis regionally in these two areas, relating to southeastern libraries today.

President Beard also announced his receipt of a request to form a Special Interest Group on Library Services to the Aging. This became a sub-committee to the Reference and Adult Services Section.

The SELA Library Education Section at the 1986 Biennial Conference in Atlanta, October 1986, introduced a resolution in support of the Division of Library and Information Management of Emory University. The Section resolved that the closing of one of the leading library and information management education programs in the nation would be a severe loss to the nation, especially the Southeast, and therefore urged that the Central Administration at Emory University recognize that to suspend the Division, as considered by the University, is to diminish the University's educational mission. The resolution was approved by SELA's Library Education Section.

In spite of financial pressures of the recession years, the threat of ALA regional conferences which will inevitably conflict with state and/or regional conferences and a membership loss common to all associations, the Southeastern Library Association continues to plan for the future and to build upon its illustrious heritage.