The Special Libraries Association (SLA) was founded in 1909, boasting a membership of 57. The $2 membership dues included a subscription to the Association's journal "Special Libraries" (published from 1910 to 1996). Membership in the Association grew steadily, and today, the Association represents more than 12,000 members in 83 countries. The SLA headquarters are located in historic Alexandria, VA.
The Association is comprised of 58 Chapters (based on geographic region); Divisions (representing subject interests, fields, or types of information-handling techniques) and Caucuses (informal networks of a particular issue or interest e.g. gay and lesbian issues, labour issues, women's issues). In addition, there are close to 40 Student Groups throughout North America.
Since its inception, the SLA has hosted an annual conference; the first was in New York NY, the upcoming 2008 SLA Annual Conference will be held in Seattle, WA. The SLA offers its members numerous resources for professional development, including the monthly magazine, "Information Outlook" ; Click University ; and 24/7 e-mail access to career advice and guidance from its Virtual Advisors.
The SLA Eastern Canada Chapter was formed in Montreal in 1932. It covers the area from Kingston, Ontario to the Maritime provinces. It was the first Canadian chapter of the SLA and has benefited from a steady growth in membership throughout the years. The McGill University student group is one of three student groups in the chapter; the other two being at Dalhousie University and Université de Montréal.