You may remember back in this post where I vented my frustration at the huge fees involves with attending the ALIA National Conference. I also ranted to my lecturer about it and she encouraged me to do something about it and send some emails to people who might be in a position to help. I sent an email to the local delegate as well as to the national Executive Director saying much the same thing as I said in my blog post - that it is important for events like this to be affordable for everyone, particularly students. Today I got a reply from Sue, the Executive Director, who is lovely by the way, I've met her a couple of times and she's just a joy to chat to. She basically said that due to their overheads in hosting the event, they can't possibly drop the price of tickets any lower. She also said however, that she is trying to arrange funds for one sponsored student position and that she'll let me know how to apply if she's successful in organising it, which is certainly better than nothing.
The whole thing got me thinking really. So, I'm sitting here at 1am contemplating the library and information management industry, as I'm sure you all do! (No Amber, no we don't). I was thinking back to the points I raised at the ALIA Advisory Congress last year about needing to get children into libraries while they're young I order to foster that interest and understanding of libraries' importance early in life. I also thought about how high school students thinking about what they want to do with their lives aren't often offered the avenue of the library sciences, I know I certainly wasn't. I wondered to myself why ALIA aren't going to high school career days, speaking at school assemblies and otherwise advocating for libraries as an interesting, rewarding and important career to students considering their options. Then it occurred to me, why don't I do that? Sure, there are people far more qualified than myself, but those people aren't doing it and I feel like it's ridiculous to leave that potential source of growth untapped.
I feel like it's a bit of a pie in the sky goal for me, and certainly nothing I could accomplish alone, but I'm going to run it by Kathy and see what she thinks of the idea. It would be great to get staff from different types of libraries and with a range of qualifications who can offer varying perspectives on what is a huge and diverse industry. I'm all excited thinking about it, but lurking in the back of my mind is the fact that sometimes what seems challenging but achievable in my crazy tired brain sometimes turns out to be unrealistic and impractical to go through with. But it doesn't hurt to talk about it and see if I can get something happening!
And now here are some gratuitous Ava pics!
Also, if you miss me between posts, don't forget I'm on Facebook! I'm also trying to dust the cobwebs off my Instagram account, so feel free to check things out over there too!