- Library Conferences: Why is it that the upcoming ACRL conference in March is twice the cost of the ALA annual conference in June and is a considerably shorter period of time? I tried for several weeks to find a hotel room so I could attend ACRL. Most of them were sold out and ones not affiliated with ACRL were charging upwards of $250 per night. After looking at the price list this afternoon, I am sorry to say I will not be attending ACRL. I was, however, able to get a great rate on a flight and hotel to attend ALA in Washington DC. The room is not in an ALA hotel, they were gone as well, but it is one block from an ALA affiliated hotel so I will be able to walk a block and catch a shuttle bus.
- New Librarians: A friend of mine recently accepted his first post-MLIS job in an academic library. He asked me last week what professional development advice I might have for him to consider and thanked me for being such a good mentor throughout his coursework. It was an interesting question and I had to give it some serious thought before responding.
- Conference Programs: I very much enjoyed my first national conference, ACRL in Minnesota two years ago, but was disappointed when so much of the programming was geared toward only reference and instruction. While I do some instruction on an as needed basis and contribute to reference desk duties, my basic function is not reference and instruction. There are many academic librarians who, like myself, have other areas of expertise. After attending my first ALA midwinter last January (San Antonio) and my first annual in New Orleans last summer, I found more of interest to me at a conference not geared specifically to academics. ALA has many children's literature, young adult literature, and other like sessions that are all but ignored in ACRL.
- Small librarian staff verses larger: I have been pondering my job lately, wondering if it is a good thing or a bad thing that I do not have one particular specialty area. Many education librarians in academic settings are just that, education specialists. Being the education liaison is only one aspect of my job description. Is it a good thing I have many different talents, managing a resource center, education librarian, library web master, and adjunct faculty for the college of education? Or am I missing an opportunity to specialize in one particular area? I guess time will tell.
Tags: Librarianship, Library professional development, ALA, ACRL, Library conferences