I’m looking forward to a second professional trip across the pond the SLA (or Special Libraries Association) conference in Washington DC. The Americans are a lot more optimistic about things and despite the economic gloom they have the change and hope of Obama to cling onto. I tend to consider them ahead of us Brits in terms of new technology but it’s also an excuse to travel and I share the new found love of the place that Stephen Fry recently brought to the small screen albeit briefly, its scent of opportunity and strangely surprising alien environment, as in we share the same language no? I went to this conference last year courtesy of a student award: this year they have made it for early careers LIS people as well and the application is the end of February so get applying if this applies to you (shameless plug over).
Other conferences of interest:
– EAHIL (European Association for Health and Information Libraries) workshop in Dublin
– MLA (Medical Libraries Association, not to be confused with the Museums and Libraries Association, US based) iFusions conference in Honolulu, Hawaii
– For more Americana the ALA (American Library Association, sister to CILIP) conference in Chicago
I went to the Book Collectors and Collecting conference at Chawton House Library in Hampshire a couple of years ago out of pure aspiration (I have a tiny and possibly non-extending collection of artists’ books) and it was such a fun small conference with a range of people. I remember speaking to a former head of Manchester’s grand John Rylands library who gave me some good careers advice (first four years of his career were tedious and then he worked his way up, which is my general plan), as well as meeting a private collector of agricultural books and some lovely women who worked for Canterbury Cathedral chained library. All very fun and a bit different from a big conference. Apart from the masses of socialising in large hotel suites and packing into lecture theatres filled with gentle debate there are however the queues for the loo and the bumping into people over coffee so I’m hoping for some small scale contact with other information professionals, librarians and possibly even Colin Powell who is the keynote speaker.