‘It’s Your Future–Invest in It!’


How much is an SLA Annual Conference worth? For Kym Holden, it was worth flying halfway around the world—on her own dime. Read why Kym agrees with Tom Rink, Joy Banks, and Pam Casey that saving and paying for SLA Annual Conferences is a professional imperative.

I was a first-timer at the SLA 2013 Annual Conference in San Diego, and I funded my registration and travel expenses myself. So what, you say? Well, I had to come a little farther than most of you—I live and work in Canberra, Australia.

I am the director of a federal library and information service for a department of the Australian Government. I have been an SLA member for a number of years, but not until this year did I put my hand up to be president-elect of the Australia and New Zealand Chapter. My involvement with the ANZ Chapter was the impetus to attend SLA 2013—I had always wanted to come to a major U.S. Conference such as SLA, but I didn’t get there until this year.

I paid to attend the conference because I wanted to further my professional development and network with other information professionals in the government library arena. I also wanted to get more of an understanding of the workings of the Special libraries Association. I found the conference a good introduction to the many varied aspects of SLA. It was quite different from any Australian Library conference I have attended.

Networking with other like-minded people is always an important and enjoyable aspect of any conference. That was no exception in San Diego. It was good to meet other members of the Australia and New Zealand Chapter in person, as well as librarians from all over the United States, Canada and the world. I look forward to meeting more SLA members in Vancouver in 2014.

I would recommend attending future SLA conferences, even if you have to pay for it yourself. It’s your future—invest in it!

Kym Holden

One Response to “‘It’s Your Future–Invest in It!’”

  1. Nora Martin says:

    In 2009 I attended my first SLA Annual Conference in Washington DC, and was the recipient of the DLDP Award and International Travel Award that year. It was a fabulous experience all round!
    I made the trip from Sydney, Australia once more to attend the SLA 2011 Conference in Philadelphia.
    I agree with Kym, it is time and money well spent. Networking with colleagues from all over the world is an experience not to be missed! Nora Martin, C-ANZ Secretary 2008, LMD Member, SLA Member since 2007.

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