Tuesday, June 14, 2005

ATLA conference

Professional associations provide excellent networking and continuing education opportunities. I encourage library school students to join one or more professional associations. One such organization I belong to is the American Theological Library Association. This is a particularly good association for LIS students to join. ATLA provides $500 travel grants to 10 student members every year for attendance at the annual conference. (I have been fortunate to receive one of these grants for two consecutive years.) Also, the number of annual conference attendees is small enough that it's possible meet just about everyone there. The attendees are really friendly and are very welcoming of students. Last year, I had the chance to meet ATLA board members personally and to dine with one of them at the closing banquet. I met many theological library directors and was even offered jobs!

I leave Wednesday for this year's annual conference, which is being held in Austin, TX. There are lots of interesting speakers on the program. Nancy Pearl, the author of Book Lust: Recommended Readings for Every Mood and model for the Librarian Action Figure, is the opening plenary speaker. Lindsay Jones, editor of the second revised edition of the Encyclopedia of Religion (published this year by Macmillian Reference USA), will speak on Saturday about this work, which is considered to be the foremost reference work in the field of comparative religion. There will also be sessions on everything from e-books, OpenURLs, and information overload, to information literacy, contemporary religious fiction, and the care of CDs and DVDs. It looks like it's going to be a great conference!

1 comment:

Barbara said...

Congratulations on those grants! I'm a big fan of Nancy Pearl, and think it will be interesting to hear more about the new edition of the Encyclopedia of Religion. That's a wonderful resource full of surprising and fascinating articles. You'd be amazed at the topics that fall into the category "religion"! It's a bit hard to explain why, but I happened to recently use their entries on "play" and on "Chaos theory" and both were fascinating. The sort of reference work it's dangerous to walk by because it's so tempting to pick up a volume and start browsing....