By Sarah Davis
After a year of library school at Pratt Institute, I have learned that professional development is an important component of my education. My undergraduate studies were in liberal arts, and finding a job afterwards was more of a pleasant afterthought rather than the goal of the degree. A Masters in Library Science is a much different experience. The whole program—my classes, extracurricular activities, and projects—is geared towards helping me learn the skills needed to secure a job in the library field of my choosing.
The inaugural Conference & Expo is one such example; it is an entire day dedicated to learning the latest skills, products, and ideas that are geared towards professional development. The two-track agenda allows the attendees to choose the events that are most interesting and relevant to them. The Conference & Expo also provides speed mentoring, a networking reception, and a speech from the SLA President-Elect, all provided to round out a great day of professional and social development.
As a student, I’m really looking forward this conference. It provides so many opportunities to build my brand as a librarian-in-training, and to network with potential places of work after I graduate. I am particularly looking forward to the LinkedIn and Personal Presentation/Self-Marketing discussion groups. LinkedIn is increasingly important in job research, resume building, and connecting with others; having an up-to-date and robust profile is essential. And no matter how great you are at networking or self-promotion, there are always new insights to learn. The speed mentoring session in the middle of the day is probably the most important part of the event for students. It will allow us to craft our CV, ask questions, and get some great pointers from librarians who are already in the field. Finally, I’m also excited about the closing network reception; students never miss a chance for free food!
If you’re a student interested in attending, there are student rates available for the whole or half a day attendance. Check out the schedule here, and I hope to see you at the first SLA NY Conference & Expo!