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Katie Fraser's blog and website

I'm an academic librarian, working in the UK Higher Educational sector, supporting academics and students. Prior to this, I was a researcher, working with social and learning technologies.

My interests include the application of emerging and traditional technologies, research support in libraries, learning spaces, evidence-based practice and the professional development of library and information workers.

You can find out more about more about me from the links to the left. Note that the views expressed on this website/blog are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of any other individual or organisation.

UKeiG prize highlights inconsistencies in conference places for students

April 25th, 2009

I was initially pleased to see that UKeiG were offering a student place at their annual conference, and then disappointed to see that I wasn’t eligible as the place is only available to those who are “not in receipt of another award, bursary or scholarship”. As my MA is AHRC funded this puts me out of the picture. My funding (unlike AHRC research degree awards) has no provision for career development within it, so I don’t think it is arguable that it should include conference attendance. I therefore assume that the UKeiG just feels that all opportunities should be spread evenly between Information Studies students. I don’t think this is an untenable position; however, I do think it highlights inconsistencies in the way student places on conferences are distributed.

Aside from my funding I’ve attended both the Research Libraries UK and LILAC conferences on student places this year, and I’ve applied for and failed to get other opportunities. I certainly intend to be proactive and enthusiastic, although the wording of the UKeiG email did, I’ll admit, make me wonder whether applying for all these opportunities looks greedy. I’d understand if UKeiG’s criteria were shared across the sector. However, there are noticeable differences between the conferences to which I’ve applied: LILAC, for example, allows any student registered for any library qualification to apply. I know that these are separate organisations, and standards don’t really apply, but I wondered what people thought was the ‘fair’ way to do things. Should students be restricted to only one set of funding over a year? Should opportunities be determined by merit alone? Please do comment and let me know what you think.

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