History of SLA

In December 1946, the first conference of Slovenian librarians was organised in Ljubljana and the initiative committee for establishment of the professional association was founded. The members of the initiative committee were: Dušan Ludvik, dr. Melitta Pivec-Stele and Vasilij Melik. On 21 December 1947, the founding meeting of the Slovenian Librarians' Association was held at the National and University Library. The first Chairman was dr. Mirko Rupel, and on 22 December the first regular annual meeting of the association took place. The association had 75 members – library employees.

In March 1950, the section for public libraries was founded, led by Roza Mencin. In the meeting in May six professional committees were established. In the same year the association introduced member cards for its 136 members.

In February 1954, the new association rules were adopted, and as the association assumed the trade union tasks, trade union branches were established in Ljubljana and Maribor. The trade union had 158, and the association 132 members. The association comprised professional sections for science libraries, public libraries and bibliography.

In 1957 the association published the first volume of its journal »Knjižnica« (The Library). Its first editor was Maks Veselko, and the editorial board consisted of the association section heads.

In 1956 a regional branch was established in Celje. In 1959 the umbrella association abandoned trade union functions and was reorganised to comprise four regional associations (Ljubljana, Celje, Maribor, Ravne) and nine commissioned bodies (Kranj, Novo mesto, Jesenice, Murska Sobota, Brežice, Koper, Nova Gorica, Tolmin, Vrhnika).

By 1965 the association had 403 active members. In 1967 the 18th general meeting and conference took place in Celje. Following the decision adopted by the participants, the association’s organization structure was changed to allow the establishment of independent library associations in all major regions of Slovenia. The new statute of the association was adopted and 36 Čop awards (“diplomas”) were granted (the first winner of Čop's diploma was Vlado Novak, director of the Celje Central Library). In 1968 independent library associations were founded in Maribor, Ljubljana, in the regions of Gorenjska, Primorska and Mežiška valley, while in Celje, Novo mesto and Murska Sobota the regional branches of the umbrella association continued to operate.

In 1988, at the 6th assembly meeting of SLA in Otočec, the document »Professional Criteria and Standards for University Libraries« was adopted. In 1990 in Nova Gorica the Standards for Special Libraries were adopted, followed by the Code of Ethics of Slovenian librarians (1995, Bled), and the SLA Development of Slovenian Libraries and Librarianship Manifesto (2004, Ljubljana).

Following the adoption of the new statute in the SLA assembly meeting on 27 March 2009, the organisation of the Union was changed. By the end of the year, SLA had almost 1300 members. Its activities have been financed by the Ministry of Culture, and publication of the Library journal in its printed and electronic form has been supported by the Slovenian Book Agency. The official seat of the Union is still at the National and University Library in Ljubljana.