Professional development is a big thing in the library world - librarians are constantly giving and attending courses, workshops, and conferences. And yeah, some of it is bogus and some people don't take it seriously, but for the most part, I've always gotten a lot out of the experiences I've been able to partake in.
The usual obstacles to professional development in an organization are institutional support and money. Despite the prevalence of professional development as an occupational cornerstone, some organizations still do not give time and / or monetary support to librarians for these activities. Fortunately, my Library Director is a staunch supporter of professional development; her only obstacle being how much money she can finagle for it.
I've read about librarians who don't get any kind of support from their employer, rather, they take vacation time and use their personal money to attend - that's how seriously we take this whole life-long learning concept.
This year, the American Library Association Annual Conference (which always takes place in the summer, and therefore someplace warm; Midwinter conference: someplace freezing) takes place in Anaheim and I get to go!
Now, the quickest way to get kicked out of my library director's office is to say that you want to go to XYZ Conference because you've "never seen Paris in the springtime." And I have to agree with her: first consideration should be the event and how it will benefit you and your organization professionally. That said, my boss already knows I'm a bigger Disney freak than she is, so she knew that my wanting to go to ALA had a little bit to do with the location.
But this is also one of those events where there are two, sometimes three, sessions that I really want to attend that are happening at the exact same time. Decisions, decisions...
So, the countdown has begun and my renewed Annual Pass is quivering. I leave on June 26 (and, if things go smoothly, will eat dinner in the Magic Kingdom that night!) and return home on July 3.
Sure, I'll be happy to tell Mickey "Hi!" for you...