Large face-to-face conferences are an important part of professional development opportunities available to academic librarians in Australia. Although a considerable amount of resources is spent organising, attending and funding conferences, research evidence suggests that conferences as well as the impact they have on attendees and their institutions remain an under-researched field.
It is in this context that the proposed research project will investigate the question of conference impact. The study will focus particularly on analysing the impact conference attendance has on librarians and libraries, both immediately after the conference and longer-term. In addition, the relationship between the policies and procedures academic libraries have in place in regard to conferences and the impact of conference attendance on their staff will be analysed.
Both academic libraries and individual librarians will benefit from the outcomes of this research which will result in widening the understanding of the impact conference attendance can have on attendees and their organisations.