SLA 2017: An Education (and More) for Students

This is an exciting time of year to be a student. If you’re a high school senior, you’re learning which colleges and universities have accepted you for enrollment. If you’re a college senior, you’re interviewing with prospective employers or receiving job offers. And if you’re a library student, you’re making plans to attend the SLA 2017 Annual Conference in Phoenix.

Why SLA 2017? To find out, Kate Spaulding, an MLIS student at San Jose State University, interviewed Brandy King, chair of SLA’s 2017 Annual Conference Advisory Council, for a post on the SJSU Information School’s Career Blog. Their discussion touched on several topics—who should attend, how to afford the conference (“Student tickets, which are waaaay less money than regular ticket prices, are available until May 30,” Kate wrote), programs and activities targeted toward students, and why smaller is better, at least when it comes to library conferences.

“Among the changes for 2017 is a smaller physical footprint; [Brandy] wanted to eliminate extra space and extra walking (which takes up time and energy),” Kate wrote. “Hopefully, the smaller space will encourage more frequent interactions, as people will have time to stop and chat in the halls.”

The attractions for students include a “stream” of sessions devoted to career development, including “Help Wanted: Tips and Advice for Landing Your Next Job” and “Switching It Up: Alternative Careers for Librarians.” Another attraction is a first-timers orientation, which is not to be confused with the Fellows and First-Timers Reception, which connects first-time attendees with SLA Fellows.

But perhaps the biggest attraction of SLA 2017 for students is that even the things that aren’t targeted toward them are worth doing.

“Brandy pointed out that we should try to take advantage of everything that’s offered,” Kate wrote. “Think of the conference as ‘not just educational sessions, but as going to lunch, going to the EXPO hall, going to the wellness events. Think of attending them as adding value to your conference, and you’ll have a much better time, too.'”

Learn more about why students should attend SLA 2017 by reading Kate’s post, “Students, Succeed at SLA 2017.”

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