Monday, 24 February 2014

ALIA National Conference Rant

If any of you were reading my blog back in October of last year, you would have seen my post about the ALIA (Australian Library and Information Association) Top End Symposium, which I had the absolute pleasure of attending. Having had such an amazing time at the "local" conference, I was super excited to read about the National Conference occurring in September of this year. That is until I saw the cost. The student concession price is $650! Plus there are additional fees to attend the dinner and breakfast workshops to the tune of $305. So if I wished to attend all of the events (and I would) it would cost a total of $955.

I'd would LOVE to be able to attend. As a student looking to enter the industry, there is simply so much for me to learn, and to be able to be at the cutting edge of what's happening in libraries is really something that should be encouraged and facilitated. Having tickets cost almost $1000 would obviously be pretty prohibitive for a lot of people, but particularly students who are typically on tight budgets. And on top of the cost of attendance, many people would have travel and accommodation costs to worry about. As a student, its simply out of reach for me. And that is most unfortunate in my opinion. Students should be at the forefront of new learning opportunities, they haven't been in the industry so long that they're jaded or daunted by change. Students coming in fresh, unafraid of bold ideas will be the innovators and groundbreakers of tomorrow. To deny them these sorts of opportunities is to potentially deny the industry invaluable perspective and infinite possibility.

I sent an email to the events team in hopes that some sponsored positions may be available, and received a reply saying there will be no sponsored positions, but I may wish to consider a single day registration "are a bit more affordable at $565 per day". To quote my best friend's reaction when I told her "genius". I'm not sure if there are any other avenues to pursue, but at this point being able to go seems out of the question, which is more than a little disappointing.

Hope you're all well!

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