Jenny Levine posted her experiences with speaking at ALA and PLA. I’ve had two similar experiences:
1. Spoke at ALA, wasn’t a member. Luckily, my library paid my way, so I had airfare and hotel funding. But ALA was terribly strict about my non-member status – I could only attend the exhibit hall for one day (and couldn’t go to any other program that day).
2. Invited to speak at PLA, wasn’t a member. Library couldn’t fund… ALA/PLA didn’t want to fund… I didn’t speak.
If that’s not bad enough, I know of at least one state library association who does the same thing. Why on earth do they do this? “Well… that’s what ALA does…”
ALA – you are supposed to be a shining example of how to do IT right (whatever IT might be). Other associations look to you for guidance. Please – DO IT RIGHT. Conference speakers are INTEGRAL to a conference. At $130 – 235 a person for registration * 20,00 attendees… plus 900 exhibitors * however much you charge them for booths… I’d think you’d be able to AT LEAST waive the conference fee.