On 8 March 2011, I received an email to confirm that I had been successful in my application for a bursary from the John Campbell Trust. I was rather delighted and giddy; I may even have bounced up and down. Now I would be able to go to Canada! The Trust “was established as an independent charitable trust through the bequest of the late Dr John Campbell, an early member of the Institute of Information Scientists. It is administered by a body of Trustees under the chairmanship of Adrienne Muir. Its purpose is to further the education and development of information professionals through grants, scholarships, research or travel awards, and thereby to enhance the knowledge and experience of the information community as a whole” (The John Campbell Trust website, last accessed 7 August 2012). There are three funding awards available from the Trust:
I would recommend all UK librarians who wish to present a paper at an overseas conference to put in an application for the Conference and Travel Bursary; the remaining two grants are intended to support librarians-in-training. Have you ever wanted to go to the apparently enormous American Libraries Association annual conference? Next year it is in Chicago, although further details are not yet available. Perhaps you don’t like long-haul flights? Have no fear! If you can withstand the rigours of a flight to mainland Europe, why not submit a proposal to MeLa*? In April 2013, their conference takes place in St. Augustine’s Monastery in Erfurt, Germany. The theme is Reflecting Remembrance, Teaching History for a Common Culture of Remembrance?, and the deadline for papers is 1 December 2012. In addition to presenting a paper, the John Campbell Trust asks you to find out more about the library and information profession and to meet colleagues in the country you visit. Look for libraries in your own field, but you might find that this is a good opportunity to visit libraries and related associations that you would not normally encounter in your day to day work.
Still need persuaded? Here’s my report of the discoveries and events of my week in Canada. I hope that it inspires some of you to apply to the John Campbell Trust; I promise that it is worth it.