A major challenge facing academic libraries is the need for reference librarians to become knowledge experts in their assigned subject areas. The subject-specialist approach increases the effectiveness of collection development, classroom instruction, and faculty liaison interactions. Simultaneously, this approach creates the need for continuous learning opportunities. Conferences organized around academic disciplines provide a direct connection to subject-specific information as well as opportunities for meeting people who share common interests. With the increase in interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary approaches to teaching and research, the authors argue that attending subject-specific conferences is the best way to keep up with information needs in various fields. This article reviews the benefits of attending academic conferences and discusses five strategies for selecting an appropriate subject conference in any discipline. First-person accounts of conference experiences illustrate these benefits.
Tomaszewski, R., & MacDonald, K. I. (2009). Identifying subject-specific conferences as professional development opportunities for the academic librarian. The Journal of Academic Librarianship, 35(6), 583-590. doi:10.1016/j.acalib.2009.08.006