Hi SILS students, Rachel here, I’ve just registered for the ALA Conference 2015 and so should you – early bird registration ends 1pm EST March 16th! While there will still be plenty of time after this date to register, now is the time to decide whether or not all that hard work you’ve put in to your MSLIS is worth one extra investment and make the commitment to go to Conference…there really is nothing like it!
Last year I attended my first ALA Annual, 2014’s conference was held in Las Vegas and while the sight of 18,000 librarians storming the exhibition center on opening night was worth the price of registration alone, the experience of five days of presentation hopping and poster viewing, not to mention all those book giveaways was one I would highly recommend to anyone considering a career in librarianship of any kind. However, by far the best experiences of the conference were the one-off conversations I had with Librarians – all of whom were open to a newbie asking them questions, sharing their experiences, knowledge of the profession, and delight in their work.
Inspired, I went back for more and attended ALA Mid-Winter in Chicago where even a blizzard couldn’t keep the place from buzzing with excitement as awards were announced, contacts were made, and committees joined – Mid-Winter tends to be the conference where, if you are interested in committee work, there are open meetings to attend and help you understand more the work of the ALA divisions.
There are 11 divisions within the ALA and all of them are represented at both the Annual Conference and Mid-Winter Conferences with a vast array of programs, presentations, open meetings, and, in the case of YALSA, a Happy Hour!
If you’re totally new to the conference there are guides a plenty, one of the best is this one and I can certainly testify that attending New Member Round Table meetings and volunteering are two sure fire ways to meet people who want you to make the most of your conference and your career.
So…what are you waiting for? SILSSA is offering five scholarships of up to $500 per recipient to attend ALA Annual Conference and offset the cost of registration, airfare and accommodation. Applications close March 15th – good luck and I hope to see you in San Francisco!
Access the SILSSA Scholarship application form here: