Rudaí23: Thing 12. Conferences.
Conference attendees stand out on Social Media. They are enthused, excited and say they leave with fresh focus. Recharged. They document their experiences and the effect is contagious, even over the ether-net. Exposure to experts in the field, new technologies and ideas, modern approaches, along with having made new professional contacts, all go towards making conference attendance worthwhile. If I feel the way I do, after a short workshop, I can only imagine how amazing it is to be present at such an event.
Librarians’ batteries potentially run dry pretty fast. I guess dealing with public/academia/ stakeholders and so on and so forth has that odd side-effect. A regular RECHARGE! is needed.
To quote a paragraph from the conference site’s PD proposal letter:
“With a focus on professional development which keeps my job knowledge and skills current, this learning and development proposal aligns with our organisation’s commitment to its employees and customers by maintaining standards of practice and through continuous improvement of skills, attributes and knowledge.”
There in a nutshell, the reason for conference attendance.
And then, once the day’s proceedings are over…librarians have the ability to live it up! 😉
Jokes aside…as a new professional, attending a conference is high on my ‘wish-list’. Just recently it seemed this may well be possible since IFLA had Qatar short-listed for an international conference in 2018. Libraries across Qatar were given a short period to prepare for a visit from IFLA delegates to review this possibility. Excitement and expectation was high, as we began to see ourselves attending this locally hosted event. In the end, this is not to be; when it came down to the wire, another nation was selected.
So, as a member of ALIA, my attention is naturally drawn to Australia and the ALIA Information Online 2017 Conference. I would love to attend this event, and have begun to plan. The cost is immense because I live abroad. As an unemployed librarian, I’d have to carry the cost. I could pair it with our annual visit to my daughter and family in Brisbane; this would be killing two birds with one stone, so to speak, and make the expense that much more valuable.
The conference takes place in Sydney, from 13 – 17 February. Key speakers will include Rolf Hapel, director of Citizens’ Services and Libraries in Aarhus, Denmark; James Neal,University Librarian Emeritus, Columbia University, Vice President/ President elect, ALA; Patricia McMillan, author of “Make it matter: the surprising secret for leading digital transformation”; Sebastian Chan, Chief Experience Officer (CXO), Australian centre for the moving image; and Paula Bray, DX Lab Leader, State Library of New South Wales.
Here is my planning for this event:
Tourist visa: AU$135
Return air ticket to Sydney: AU$1,942.00
Conference fee (early bird member’s registration): AU$1,190
Accommodation: AU$335.00 p/n x 6 nights
Other: AU$20 per day x 5 days (Non-tangoing teetotaler 😉 )
😮 No small budget! In our currency that amounts to QR14,894. I would seriously need a sponsor if I wanted this to become a reality. I am grateful for a husband who is really supportive, and who has contributed much to my career path in the last few years. He would gladly provide the air ticket and visa costs. However, to cover the balance, I’d have to hope for a sponsor who is willing to assist a new professional. 🙂 Alternatively, engaging in some form of home industry to raise the funds would be the only option. (For those who wonder why I am unemployed… in Qatar an MLIS is the basic requirement, along with 2 to 5 years’ experience in the sector. I do not meet either criteria. Along with that, if one is over 55, you don’t easily find employment. Sadly, my career has not been able to progress, despite reaching a short-list twice in the last year.)
Will this be a wish that becomes reality? Only time will tell.
Other conferences that elicit the “Yeah!! I want to go” from me are…
- Library Technology Conference. Would love to attend one of these. Here is the 2016 programme archive. Awesome. 😀
- ALIA’s New Librarian Symposium 2017. As a new professional, I would love to attend this event.
- And then…that wonderful international conference from IFLA. Here is the link to the 2016 event, about to take place in Columbus, Ohio. Librarians, watch out for the tweets, using the #WLIC2016, this is going to be a great event to follow. Claire Sewell is one of many who will be live on Twitter and Instagram, and also blogging from this event. Be sure to follow her posts. I, for one, can’t wait. You could also follow the IFLA2016 Twitter account. The 2017 event is only a year away…so get planning.
Till next time. Cheers, and thanks for stopping by.
Public domain images used: Joy! thanks to wpclipart.com , Battery energy via Pixabay.com Featured image: KEYNOTE AUDIENCE by Ewan Macintosh on Flickr. (CC BY-NC 2.0)