The Speakers’ Bureau at Fifteen

Plunging into New Territory

by Carol A. Hryciw-Wing, Chair, CRG Speakers’ Bureau

Back in the early nineties, the concept of creating and maintaining a list of speakers for use by CRG affiliate groups was born. The idea was to provide a directory of ALCTS experts in technical services specialties who would be willing to speak at no cost except for expenses. The Speakers’ Bureau Committee was a small group of five volunteers, chaired by Derry C. Juneja, who by 1991 had compiled a list of 28 names. Their ongoing concern was how such a list should be updated and distributed.

These days, the Committee, comprised of six regular members and two interns, still scours the land to find experts in collection development and technical services for its CRG Speakers’ Bureau Directory. We distribute flyers at conferences, approach colleagues for leads, promote our work on listservs, and contact speakers whom we have heard in a variety of educational venues. We vet the names that are suggested for the Directory, in an effort to offer speakers who are noted not only for their command of one or more areas of expertise but also for their presentation skills. For the first time this year, we have opened the Directory to speakers who are not members of ALCTS or ALA. This factor alone has already increased the list by several names and promises to attract others.

If you have knowledge and know-how worth sharing in a conference or workshop setting, and are willing to provide your services solely for reimbursement of expenses, take the opportunity to fill out the CRG Speakers’ Bureau Information Form to have your name considered for inclusion in the Directory. In addition, please spread the word about the Directory and Information Form among your colleagues who are looking for presenters and speaking engagements. By supporting these continuing education tools, you’ll all be making the future sparkle a bit brighter for library collections and technical services specialists who thirst for the best information to help them through challenging times!