Today’s guest post on conferences and events comes from our Ireland Coordinator, Dr Eva Hornung:
I’m on the committee of the Academic & Special Libraries Section of the Library Association of Ireland (LAI), which is the professional body for library and information professionals here. We are a pretty busy group and are running, beside informal networking evenings, training courses and workshops, an Annual Conference and Exhibition. The Conference is aimed at professionals working in all types of special information units, big academic libraries, the National Library of Ireland, governmental libraries and so on. We also have public and school librarians attending, which is great as it really fosters professional links.
I’ve been on the committee since it’s reinstallation in 2005, so next year would be conference number 15 for me. Despite having had different roles over the years (ranging from registration to overall project manager) I’m amazed that there is still so much to learn! Every year is different and you can never plan for all eventualities. We’ve expanded in recent years: initially it was a one-day event, now we’re on a day and a half (and possibly even two days), which means a lot logistical changes. And of course the vast variety of papers is fantastic – you update your knowledge in different areas on a regular basis.
The most important learning for me happens when I work with other people. Just watching what they are doing, learning from their experience, tapping into their knowledge – it’s a great profession to be in! Project management is certainly a skill that comes in handy in my workplace since I’m a solo librarian… I also maintain a reflective CPD diary which keeps track of learning events and which I use for revalidation of professional qualifications run by CILIP in the UK and the LAI.
Is there an event you’d like to go to one day?
The Internet Librarian International would be high on my list. They always have a great mix of speakers – both from academia and industry. And, of course, the fact that it’s taking place in London makes it very attractive – any excuse to head there!