I am happy for all of you who are attending CIL in Washington this week. Really I am, and I love hearing about the presentations that are being held and all of the cool things that are going on, but to be honest, I really am a little bit jealous.
I work in a very rural library system. We have an extremely limited budget. Our entire professional development budget for this year is approximately $6,000.00. That is for a staff of nearly thirty people. That works out to $200.00 a person. This is far from enough to send us all to our own state convention, let alone, send us to specialized technology related conventions.
I have my heart set on going to the Internet Librarian convention in Monterey this October, but I realize that the chance of this really happening is extremely small. I have some big ideas about expanding services for my patrons, and my director is 100% supportive, but I still must live within the constraints of a nearly nonexistent budget. The reality is that even using solutions that are free and open source, without a tech savvy staff, an IT department, or a network of techy librarian types, many of these solutions are nearly impossible to implement.
I love working for the Cass District Library. I have a wide array of duties, and every day is different, but when I read about all of the exciting things that my colleges are doing, I am a bit green with envy.