Thing 7 is again about networking but it differs from Thing 6 in that it is specifically about face to face networking and professional organizations. As a new librarian, I was a member of the Jamaica Library Association (JLA) and a paying member of the American Association of School Libraries.
I had an active role in the Executive of the JLA now known as the Library and Information Association of Jamaica and went to conferences and meetings all over the island. My job encouraged active involvement. When I lived in the Bahamas, I attended an ACURIL annual conference. I think that was in 2000. Several librarians that I knew from Jamaica attended that conference. Membership in ACURIL is open to Caribbean libraries, archives, organizations, and individuals. It started in the 1960s and is affiliated with IFLA. The most recent conference was held this year in Tampa, Fl in May/June. Disaster Preparedness, Response and Research was the theme.
Here in the USA I eagerly joined the American Library Association and went to a conference in Atlanta. Networking and keeping up with new trends are very important. However, the economy has directly affected my ability to continue face to face networking. I have had to reduce expenses and unfortunately face to face meetings has been cut from my budget. It is costly to travel from a rural community to meetings in a big city and to pay annual membership fees.
The last library conference I attended was Georgia COMO held at Jekyll Island in 2007 and I blogged about a very interesting presentation on Chick Lit by Claire Matturo. I see on the web that Georgia COMO will be held in Athens, Georgia this year.
My library subscribes to only one professional journal now, The Library Journal , and I make the time to read the hard copy and I also receive their free e-newsletter. I also check out the free online classes and participate to learn as much as I can. My job also requires that I join professional ListServs such as the Galileo ListServ.