Summer Learnin’: Attending Conferences

Here at Hack Library School, we are pretty firm believers in the value of attending conferences.  We’ve talked about why you should attend conferences, how to hack academic conferences, and presenting at conferences.  Now that the academic year has ended for many of us, conferences are a great way to continue our library education during the summer months!

Conferences provide us with opportunities to network with other librarians and information professionals and learn about things that may not be covered in library school classes.  As an added bonus, they are usually significantly less expensive for students, so now is a great time to take advantage of them! There are a variety of conferences taking place this summer, ranging from the all-encompassing (ALA Annual) to those that are much more specialized in terms of discipline and geographic location.  Here are a few conferences you might want to think about attending this summer:

New Jersey Library Association Conference: June 3-5, Atlantic City, NJ

Special Libraries Association Annual Conference: June 9-11, San Diego, CA

American Theological Library Association Conference: June 19-22, Charlotte, NC

International Conference on Management of Data (SIGMOD/PODS): June 22-27, New York NY

International Conference on Information Society: June 24-26, Toronto, ON

National Association for Media Literacy Education Conference: July 12-13, Torrance, CA

American Association of Law Libraries Annual Meeting and Conference: July 13-16, Seattle, WA

Digital Directions: Fundamentals of Creating and Managing Digital Collections: July 21-23, Ann Arbor, MI

Joint Conference on Digital Libraries: July 22-26, Indianapolis, IN

Society of American Archivists Annual Meeting: August 11-17, New Orleans, LA

Americas Conference for Information Systems: August 15-17, Chicago, IL

Georgia International Conference on Information Literacy: August 23-24, Savannah, GA

This is just a sample of the conference activity happening this summer, but you can see that there are conferences in a lot of different places, spanning a wide range of topics.  If nothing on this list appeals to you in terms of subject matter or location, check out the Library Conference Planner website, this list of library-related conferences, ALA’s affiliates conference and event calendar, or the website for your state library association.

So, are you planning on attending any conferences this summer?  What have you learned from or liked about attending conferences in the past?  Let me know in the comments, or find me on Twitter @AlisonJane0306.

P.S. Are you planning to attend ALA Annual? Don’t forget to make time to attend the HLS Conversation Starter, and check out our Hack ALA series for helpful tips.

6 replies

  1. One tip I want to add about conferences is to apply for student scholarships! Many conferences have scholarships to help cover or defray the cost of attending for students. Sometimes there is 1 scholarship, other times 10. These are great opportunities and I don’t think that many library school students take advantage of the chance to apply. This year ACRL received only 40 student applications for 10 conference scholarships of $700. That’s an automatic 1 in 4 chance!


  2. Chealsye’s remarks about student scholarships is right on … also, many conferences offer the possibility of a mentor or guide through the conference. If the idea of attending a conference seems overwhelming (which is entirely possible, especially after browsing through the schedule of events for a conference), having someone to help guide your experience through the conference can be a great way to get the most out of a conference. This is also a built-in way to start networking even before the conference starts!


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