Professional Development Proposal

The QPLA Conference provides a venue to meet library industry leaders, vendors, public library staff and managers from around the state that can provide a wealth of information, experience, and resources to help libraries throughout Queensland develop and grow stronger library services for their community.

In our current climate, getting approval and funding to attend conferences can be challenging and it is no longer simply a matter of asking for approval to attend. We recommend that prospective delegates consider submitting a more formal proposal that demonstrates how your participation in the conference directly relates to the strategies and objectives of your organisation and role.

Include in your proposal your reasons for wanting to attend, what benefits it will bring to your role and organisation and also the approximate cost of your attendance. Have you thought about how you will manage your workload while you are out of the office? Your manager will need to assess the benefits of you attending the conference and the cost of your attendance, and determine the return on that investment.

It is hard to quantify all of the benefits of attending a conference, and although you may automatically understand how the conference will assist you and your organisation, you manager may not. Identify the specific benefits of attending the conference, whether it be in relation to a current or upcoming project, professional training and development, networking or library products.

It can also be difficult to obtain approval for more than one team member to attend a conference. Individual staff experience at a conference is intensely personal and sending multiple delegates can help build your team, providing a forum for team members to discuss tools, technologies, and processes. These different perspectives often prove invaluable as to how organisations might apply solutions to improve services, products, workflow, and processes.

Below is a template for a customisable letter to your manager to assist you in your proposal to attend the 2015 QPLA Conference.

Dear <Manager>
I would like to attend the QPLA Conference to be held on 19-21 October 2015. The conference theme is Partners in Time and it is the premier event for public library professionals in Queensland. This year’s agenda focuses on [insert specifics] that are very relevant to my job challenges right now.
The conference features many industry guest speakers, including international and national keynote speakers, workshops and interactive sessions that will greatly benefit my work.
Please check out the conference website. The opportunity for me to develop better contacts with industry experts and to gain knowledge in specific areas of public libraries makes my attendance at this conference a practical investment, which will establish a network of peers and will lead to improved work practices.
I plan to visit with three key vendors at the conference [insert 3 vendor names] to help assist me with [current need/project].
The total cost for the conference is [fill in blank]. The detailed cost breakdown is listed in the paragraph below.
Conference Fee:
Airfare:
Transportation to and from Hotel:
Hotel:
Meals:
Total :
Following the conference, to ensure that other staff benefit from my attendance, I will prepare a detailed summary report and can deliver presentations on key topics if necessary.
I am confident you will see this as a worthwhile investment. It is an opportunity for me to network with industry vendors, hear international and national keynote speakers, attend invaluable educational sessions and gain specific industry knowledge.

Supplementary paragraphs for managers

This conference will allow [specific team members] to network with other professionals and vendors in the industry. We will be able to take the pulse of what is happening for tools, technologies, and processes, as well as identify new and emerging initiatives in the library industry.
This conference will help build our team, providing a forum for team members to discuss tools, technologies, and processes and how we can/might apply them in our company to improve our information products, workflow, and processes.

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