Grants for professional development

As you know, IALL offers a professional development bursary every year to law librarians from around the world in an effort to assist with the cost of attending the annual course.  (A list of the 2013 recipients is available here.)  During the Annual General Meeting at the 2013 Annual Course in Barcelona, the current President of the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL),  Steven Anderson, reminded attendees about the opportunity for foreign law librarians to apply for the FCIL Schaffer Grant for Foreign Law Librarians.

Next year’s AALL conference will take place in San Antonio, Texas.  The AALL annual meeting is easily the biggest law library conference in the world, it offers unparalleled opportunities for learning from colleagues and networking and covers a wide range of topics relevant to law libraries and law librarianship. Anyone who may be interested in applying for the Grant is encouraged to review the relevant application information available online here.  Please note, however, that the deadline for applications is November 30, 2013.

Selection for the Grant is based on the foreign law librarian’s ability to add to the knowledge of law, legal information, and law librarianship from a foreign perspective for AALL attendees. Preference may be given to an applicant from an under-represented country or region, to someone who demonstrates financial need, or to an applicant who has never attended an AALL Annual Meeting.  In order to ensure diversity, the Grant Committee avoids selecting recipients from the same country as recipients of the previous three years.

Many other law library associations provide similar opportunities (see e.g., BIALL, CALL).  The purpose of these grants, particularly those that encourage foreign law librarians to attend, is not only to provide a valuable professional development experience for the recipient, but also to enrich the conference events for local attendees.  Opportunities to share perspectives and ideas across cultures, languages, and legal systems are especially valuable in an increasingly globalized world.  Though our backgrounds and resources are often varied, the challenges we face are frequently the same and necessarily benefit from exchange and dialogue.

In order to ensure the greatest number of potential applicants are aware of this opportunity, I encourage IALL members to circulate this information to their local law library associations and to other colleagues who may wish to apply for the grant.

Kristina Alayan