Students often hesitate when it comes to registering for the annual NJLA Conference. They wonder if it's worth it, if they'll meet anyone, if it's meant for them. But the best part about conference is that it's meant for everyone! And there are plenty of obvious reasons why students would benefit, but the best reason to go for students is that it’s cheap.
Once you graduate, the NJLA fees go up and conference attendance prices go up. Some of us are lucky and our library will pay for a day or two, and hotel rooms. But if you don’t have that as a student, there’s no need to worry! The program gets scheduled far ahead of time, so you can choose a day that will have the most impact, even though two days is only $65, which isn’t bad when one day as a full member is $105 (based on last year’s prices).
(Because we’ve all been there)
However, don’t just take my word for it. I asked Kristen Matteucci, another student from Rutgers SC&I, about her experiences at conference.
Stacey: So I know I met you at the NJLA conference last year, and it was your first time going. What do you think are the important reasons to go as a student?
Kristen: Not only did I have the chance to learn about what's going on in libraries across the state, but I also got to know fellow library students and made some great contacts.
S: The conference is a great place to network, especially as a new student. Did you have any favorite panels?
K: I met current NJLA interns and attended a great public policy panel about current library legislation and advocacy. Those experiences prompted me to apply for the NJLA Committee internship Program, and now I'm an intern for the Public Policy committee, where I'm learning a lot and meeting great librarians and leaders.
S: Anything else about conference for people who are hesitating?
K: Yeah, I mean it was my first semester in the program, and I think going was really helpful for me as a newbie to meet new people and try new things.
And that’s it. Like Hamilton says:
Go to conference.
Stacey Shapiro and the 2016-2017 NJLA Conference Committee