Are you a new professional or a MLIS or LIT student?
CLA’s Next Generation Network has 14 reasons why the freshly minted should attend CLA 2014:
- Network – One of the most important things to do, whether starting or in the midst of a career, is meet new people. Conference networking goes beyond job leads; it’s a way for you to build community outside of school and work.
- Enhance Network – Meeting new people is only the beginning. It is important for new professionals to reconnect with those they have been introduced to. Maintaining a network takes effort, but it is well worth it.
- Education – For me, this is one of the best aspects of attending conference. After years of schooling, you finally get to learn new things without any pressure. There are no tests, no essays, no stress: just you and your curious mind.
- Professional Development – Aka CV material. Employers want to see that you take the initiative to learn outside of the workplace and on your own free will. Who knows, eventually they might finance your conference adventures.
- Improve – Take the opportunity to learn beyond those grad school intro classes. Improve and develop your previous knowledge and practices.
- Share – Everyone knows a bit about something, so take the time to share. Have a convo with a stranger, an acquaintance, someone in your field or out of it. Share what you know and absorb what is shared with you. *Often this is best done over pints.
- Problem Solve – Maybe a session or conversation will help you with a current issue you or your organization is having.
- Present – Bit of a no brainer. Work on your research and presentation skills in a welcoming environment where you can receive valuable feedback. Get your name and ideas out there!
- Stay Current – Conferences are often the place where new ideas, research or knowledge is shared for the first time. Stay on the ball and up to date on industry trends (and sometimes, maybe, a bit of gossip).
- Stay Relevant – Sometimes it can take months to find work or maybe you are in between jobs/semesters. Going to conferences allows for you to stay in the know, meet people and make sure you are not forgotten. It does the mind and CV good for you to stay active in the industry.
- Learn Best Practices – New research is released continuously on how to best perform LIS work. What you learned in library school last year might no longer be the most effective or efficient method. Tune up on the practical side of being an information professional.
- Travel – See the world as you learn. Get in touch with local conference organizers for help with affordable accommodation, attractions, transportation or food. Victoria is lovely *wink wink*
- Re-energize – Maybe you are losing motivation or are getting stuck in a rut. Conferences are an opportunity to get re-inspired, put your best foot forward and remember why you got into LIS in the first place.
- Have Fun! – Conferences are a blast. Have fun while conducting yourself professionally. Get on Twitter and tell the world what you are up to. The socials, pub crawl, keynotes are all wonderful opportunities to unwind and connect.
Prepared by Robyn Schafer, Co-Moderator of the CLA Next Generation Network