Sadly, the Ohio Library Council announced Monday that it was canceling its 2009 annual conference. The reason:
OLC staff learned last week in a survey of library directors that very few libraries will have the funds to send library staff to this event. In light of the recent developments in the state’s public library funding and the drastic adjustments that all libraries have been making to their operations, the OLC made the most fiscally-responsible route for both members and the organization.
Considering Ohio's financial situation, cancellation does seem the most sensible course. But it is still unfortunate, because meeting and learning from other librarians is very valuable in our profession.
But also unfortunate is that the "mainstream" library world still hasn't adopted an alternative to the large conference. The OLC announcement states they are "exploring several different education alternatives, including regional and electronic options," and this situation illustrates why these avenues are important.
I was slated to be part of a library blogger panel at the conference, and I'm sorry to miss an opportunity to spend time with Ohio librarians. The state's budget is finally settled, but they're still facing a challenging year.