On October 14th, I attended my second Georgia COMO conference in Athens, GA. COMO is a great conference – it is the statewide library conference here in Georgia, and is co-sponsored by several state library and school media organizations.
Last year, the conference was in Columbus, which was kind of a drab city. There were little restaurants in walking distance of the conference center. This year, it was up in Athens, which is about an hour and a half from my house. It was my first visit to Athens, home of the UGA Bulldogs. I think Athens is a great city with a lot of great restaurants – it’s definitely a college town, and the conference center was right near the downtown area. It reminded me a lot of Greenville, SC, the town in which I went to college. Unfortunately, I could only attend for 1 day, but I would like to visit Athens again and see more of the town.
I had planned to go to COMO to hear my mentor present on her experience working with me, but then I was also asked to come up and present on that. It was a bit impromptu, but it all worked out. I also had volunteered to sit at the ALA/SELA membership booth in the exhibit hall for some additional exposure, all to enhance my professional development of course.
In other news, the job search is gaining momentum. A couple of my classmates have found new positions, but many are still looking. The good news is that the economy does seem to slowly continue picking up, but hiring is slow, though companies are still notoriously hoarding cash which only stalls growth.
I have also started taking continuing ed courses towards a certificate in advanced web development, where I will learn PHP and Java programming. Right now I am starting with the basics, but am excited to get into meatier stuff. I want to continue learning and growing, and not become stagnant.
I am very fortunate to have this awesome grant that not only helps for my library school tuition, but has some perks that allow me to attend professional conferences for free. Last fall, I went to the Georgia Library Association COMO conference in Columbus, and that was fun. It was lively, but not too overwhelming. But in June, I will be attending ALA’s annual conference, in Washington, DC. ALA – American Library Association – is the big kahuna. It is going to be craaa-zyyy.
I am really excited about it. First off, I get to stay in a nice hotel near the convention center. Plus, my dad and a couple of good friends live in the area, so I hope I will get a chance to visit with them (in between attending conferences). I plan on going to a few panels, as well as “trick-or-treating” – I mean- browsing in the exhibit halls. While networking and learning about the new technologies in the field is nice, so is picking up a few pens, notepads, pieces of candy, etc. Mainly, I hope to visit with some recruiters. Thus, I will come armed with many copies of my resume….something to dump in their trick-or-treat bags :).
Since it is a large conference, I will have to be choosy about what I can attend. Luckily, ALA has some stuff specifically for new members, so I may go to a couple of those meetings. I am particularly interested in those that have to do with digital libraries, and how libraries utilize technology (such as Web 2.0, databases, etc). I have been learning a lot about technology in my concentration, but when I finish my MLIS, I would like to pursue some programming courses. It can never hurt to know more about computing and technology!