Primark Student Travel Award

Paul Brothers
2000 Award Recipient

Comments, as reported in the Fall 2000 RUSA Update

I consider myself very fortunate to have had the opportunity to attend this year’s ALA summer conference on behalf of the generosity of Primark Global Information Services (now Thompson Corporation). This was my first of hopefully many future conferences. Chicago is a wonderful city for a summer conference and is a special treat for someone from the hot and humid South such as myself. The city was spectacular as the weather itself. The people were friendly, helpful and proud of their richly eclectic metropolis.

As a first-time visitor to Chicago I wanted to experience not only the wonderful and incredible ALA conference itself but also some of the entertainment and cultural aspects as well. I was able to attend a baseball game between the Sox and the Cubs at the historic and legendary Wrigley Field. My five days in Chicago also allowed me the chance to see such magnificent places as the Chicago Public Library, the Chicago Art Institute, Shedd Aquarium, and the Museum of Science and Industry as well as Navy Pier.

The conference itself was held in several locations around the city. The main venue was the gargantuan McCormick Place Convention Center. This place is like a city within a city. This was also the site for the hundreds and hundreds of vendors who were promoting their products and services. It was fascinating and inspiring to see so many people and products in one huge place that were geared toward the field of librarianship.

The meetings and programs that I attended and the people that I met were excellent occasions for professional development in this growing and exciting service industry of knowledge management. There is a myriad of opportunities in this field and I, like many others, predict it to bloom even more in the future.

I attended the Geographic Information Systems meeting and was primed to anxiously await the many fruits of the labor that will be produced from this relatively nascent technology. The program for this year’s RUSA/BRASS division was the “Not Another ^%$# Legal Question.” This program provided me with a sense of what to expect from patrons concerning legal matters that would be queried at a reference desk and some helpful places to look for answers to these legal issues.

The opportunities for professional development were also presented to me at a morning BRASS discussion group meeting as well as an academic business reference librarians meeting. Many relevant and timely issues were discussed pertaining to our career field.

Another of the many enjoyable meetings was the reception and awards ceremony. This was an inspiring time to see those awarded for their devotion to librarianship. Afterwards, I was treated to a fine dinner at a marvelous Chinese restaurant where I had the privilege to talk with many wonderful and enthusiastic BRASS librarians.

In conclusion, I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to all who made my trip to the 2000 ALA conference in Chicago such a pleasure. This fantastic opportunity has enlivened me even more on my future career in librarianship.

- Paul Brothers, Award Recipient