How you can be more valuable.
Expand your network. Build your knowledge. Improve your profession.
Making the case for time off, and support for travel and expenses to attend a conference requires a solid understanding of the potential benefits to your institution, supervisor, colleagues, patrons, students, and other library users. And you need to be able to communicate those benefits clearly—especially in times of tight budgets and reduced staff. Use the information that follows to help make your case.
Why you’ll be more valuable to your library after the conference—or why they can’t afford for you to stay home!
- You’ll help make your library more effective, save money, and serve your users better when you implement the innovative ideas, strategies, and techniques you bring back. The conference program is always designed to maximize your time away from your job. With a focus on engagement, dialogue, and innovation around transforming libraries, the content of ALA conferences and meetings will help you help your library track trends and keep up with this rapidly changing field. You’ll get ideas and tips from hundreds of programs, discussion groups, updates, networking events, and speakers. Various tools will help you identify the best programs for your area(s) of librarianship, including the Conference Scheduler and advance program listings.
- You’ll save your library time and money by reviewing products and services among the hundreds of vendors in the exhibit hall, developing relationships with your library’s current and potential vendors, seeking cost-effective alternatives, comparison shopping, and finding ways to maximize what you’re getting.
- You’ll become a more effective library advocate at any level—in your community, your state, or nationally—when you fill your advocacy toolbox with ideas and strategies shared by your colleagues, by ALA Washington Office, ALA Office for Advocacy, and many other experts. Attending any of the numerous sessions and discussions related to library advocacy will allow you to meet other concerned and creative librarians for future collaboration.
- You’ll make your library’s network stronger as you connect with, and learn from, the wide range of attendees from all types of libraries from the US and the rest of the world. The conferences offer numerous opportunities to meet people and network—in sessions, programs, and discussions, at special events, in the hallways, and in informal social settings.
- You’ll inject fresh energy, excitement, and professionalism into your work, influencing those around you and helping improve the experience of those who use your library. That excitement comes from all the personal interactions, the fresh ideas, the creativity, the enthusiasm, the commitment, and the expertise you’ll encounter. Not to mention the non-library thought-leaders whose programs will inspire you to think about how their innovations can make a difference in the library world, too. You’ll be more ready to tackle the next project.
- Your library’s reputation gets stronger when you participate actively in your profession and show that your home institution is committed to professional development, innovation, and improving its services and outreach. So when they need to hire, the best candidates will already know why they want to work there.
- You’ll be one excited, well-informed professional!