The arrival of the summer season might not mean guaranteed sunshine, picnics and beer gardens for the British librarian but it does mean conference time. Summer tends to be packed with conferences of all shapes and sizes . Summer means finding a way to attend conferences without bankrupting myself. This year I’ve been really lucky as I’ve bagged myself sponsored places at two of the big summer library conferences; SLA2013 in June and CILIP’s Umbrella conference in July.
I gained my place at this years SLA conference by applying for the SLA Europe Early Career Conference Award. I had no expectation of winning this one because I’ve applied a couple of times before with no joy, but I don’t give up on dreams so poured a lot of energy into making this years application the best one yet. Next week I will be on the other side of the world with a lot of amazing information people which is slightly terrifying but very exciting. I’ve known about the trip for a couple of months now but I don’t think it has sunk in as reality yet even though I’ve worked through the online conference planner and made plans for meetings with mentors and others whilst there.
My funded place at Umbrella has come about thanks to my involvement in the Commercial, Legal and Scientific Information Group (CLSIG), which is a CILIP special interest group. Last year I started attending committee meetings to become more involved in a professional body, and earlier this year I was offered opportunity to take on the role of secretary. My fellow committee members were kind enough to select me to attend the conference on behalf of the group, in return for representing and promoting CLSIG at the event.
Sponsored places are the only way I can attend conferences because I have no money and my employer isn’t going to send me to any events because I don’t really work in a library anymore. So I’m extremely thankful such opportunities exist and even more thankful that this year I’ve been given more than one.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; APPLY FOR EVERYTHING!