Why I am attending the SLA 2010 conference and paying for it myself
By Dennie Heye
This year I am attending the SLA 2010 conference on my own budget. Let me explain my reasoning:
The primary reason is that I want to meet Stephen Kizza, the energy librarian from Uganda who has been sponsored to attend the SLA conference by my division. My division raised money for Stephen to make a dream come true–visiting a conference in the west to boost his skills, meet peers and share his story with others. I was quite keen on attending this conference, as this would be the only chance I would get to meet Stephen after all these years.
However, I am in the Netherlands and my employer does not allow international travel for conferences, so I could only attend if I were to pay my own way.
Secondary, as professional, I feel it is natural to invest in my own education. Of course my employer also invests in my development, but I have an obligation as well to take care of my long-term education and networking. Attending the SLA conference this year is an investment in my professional development.
I commit time and effort to attending courses and Webinars, reading books, following relevant blogs, etc. For me, attending the SLA conference is a compressed learning curve, wonderful networking opportunity and idea generator – all in a short span of time. In the past I have attended SLA conference (paid by my previous employer) and always received enormous value from it: a series of new, practical ideas ready to implement, new insights from leaders in our profession, a new set of global peers and an outstanding opportunity to meet with vendors to learn about the latest and greatest within a few days.
And I can achieve all of that within 4 days at the SLA conference – well worth the investment!
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