Note: I was able to attend the 2005 Annual Conference of the Special Libraries Association (SLA) because I applied for and was given an International Travel Award, which was sponsored by ISI Emerging Markets and administered by SLA's Business and Finance Division.The "Annual Business Meeting & Awards Lunch" of the Business & Finance (B&F) Division was a more formal event than most of the other sessions. It was not just a stage-and-chairs affair; there were about fifteen tables with room for ten people each. And, of course, food was served.
The people were nice and seemed to be better-dressed than usual. The food was a real meal because we even had salad and dessert. The business meeting went smoothly. But that's about all I can remember... because I couldn't really concentrate. All I remember thinking was, "I'M GOING UP THERE AND I STILL DON'T KNOW WHAT TO SAY!"
It's a good thing there were six other recipients of professional grants and student stipends, so I was able to organize my thoughts. (By the way, I was told that I had to deliver a short speech after receiving my award only when I got to the venue.) And then it was my turn.
Robert Clarke, chair of the International Relations committee, gave a brief background on the International Travel Award, and that's when I found out that I was the first recipient of the award (more pressure!). He also introduced James Hammond III, executive vice president of ISI Emerging Markets, who then called me to the stage and gave me the award.
I told them I had three things I wanted to say:
From left: Robert Clarke, James Hammond III, and me
- Thank you to the Business & Finance Division and ISI Emerging Markets for giving this award for the first time;
- Thank you for giving me the award (this got a few laughs); and
- Thank you for requiring that applicants write an essay. I posted mine on the Internet (see "Librarians as Leaders") and this new kid on the block received good feedback about it from some of the most influential librarians in the Philippines.
If you would like to attend next year's conference in Baltimore, just visit this blog regularly because I will be sharing announcements regarding awards that you can apply for as soon as I find out about them.
With the other awardees, from left: Terence Forsythe, Claudia Cohen, James Wiser, Laura Tuers, David Gibbs, Alexey Panchenko.
Right now, only the SLA's Physics-Astronomy-Mathematics (PAM) Division has guidelines available online for 2006 awards. But I know that more divisions will be offering awards for librarians from developing countries, like the Advertising & Marketing, Museums, Arts, and Humanities (MAH) and Social Science divisions.
Previous SLA travel awardees from the Philippines include: Marie Antoinette Villaflor (PAM, 2004; see the presentation she delivered) and Maria Luisa Calanag (MAH, 2003; see the report she wrote after the conference).