Editor’s note: The following message is from ALA President Courtney Young.
As the ALA President, I am honored to serve as the leader of the upcoming ALA Delegation to Finland. I invite you to join me and other ALA members to participate in this important international exchange in Helsinki, Finland in October 11-16, 2015.
As you know, Finland is noted for having some of the most innovative library communities in the world. It will be a great to learn and share experiences with our Finnish colleagues. I believe you would contribute valued expertise to the team while gaining both personally and professionally from the experience.
In addition to visiting cutting edge libraries, we’ll have the opportunity to meet with leadership of the Finnish Library Association to discuss issues such as:
- Sources of funding and government commitment to library development
- The role of libraries as an educational resource
- Use of technology at all levels
- Education and training for librarians
Each delegate will be asked to complete a profile identifying their background and areas of interest, to ensure the final schedule of activities reflects the professional goals and specific topics of discussion of the enrolled delegates. The itinerary is available at www.professionalsabroad.org.
The estimated cost per delegation member is $4,150. This cost includes: group ground transportation within Finland, meetings, accommodations in double-occupancy rooms, entry fees for cultural visits, the service of a national guide, and most meals. The program convenes on October 11, 2015 in Helsinki and ends on October 16, 2015. In most cases, this means a departure from the U.S. on October 11th, with a return on the 16th.
Travel arrangements will be arranged through Professionals Abroad, a division of Academic Travel Abroad. The 60-year-old organization handles the logistical arrangements for prestigious organizations, such as National Geographic, The Smithsonian, The New York Times – Times Journeys and many top professional associations and universities.
A parallel program of unique cultural activities will be arranged for non-professionals and accompanying guests. If you are interested in bringing a guest to experience the rich culture of Finland, please contact Professionals Abroad for program specifics.
For U.S. citizens, expenses associated with this program may be tax deductible as an ordinary and necessary business expense. You should consult with a tax advisor to determine if the tax deduction is applicable to you.
As the team will be limited and due to the extensive planning and communication involved in coordinating a program of this nature, please respond with your intentions regarding this invitation as soon as possible. Please RSVP to Professionals Abroad at 1-877-298-9677 or via the web at www.professionalsabroad.org. A $500 deposit is required to reserve your place on the team. In the event that you are unable to accept this invitation, an alternate delegate candidate will be invited. You may also recommend a colleague as your alternate for the program. I look forward to hearing from you regarding your participation.
If you have questions regarding the delegation, contact our Program Representative at Professionals Abroad, at 1-877-298-9677.
I am pleased to be involved in this exciting opportunity and hope that you will strongly consider participating in the delegation to Finland.