I mentioned this over on Meredith’s blog, but I’ll say it here as well. ALA could do a lot to break down barriers to membership and participation. Something that might help, and they may already do this but if they do they really need to publicize it, is offering scholarships, reduced registration fees and deals with discount hotels and youth hostels as well as nice hotels. I was lucky enough to get funding from my institution to go to CIL2006 (I’ll be blogging, so stay tuned!) because we get a consortium discount and I have relatives in the area I’ll be staying with instead of in a hotel. A couple hundred dollars isn’t a big deal to a big institution, but I’m from a relatively poor rural state and $200 is a big deal even at the college I work at. Doing some need based scholarships and fee reductions could change a conference from impossible to a reality for some people, and greatly increase access. And isn’t that what librarians are all about?

ed: edited because I forgot to include the hyperlinks


March 7, 2006. ALA. 3 comments.