Many of us have been whining about how much the Special Libraries Association is charging for Internet access during the annual conference in Toronto. Maybe it’s because I’ve been to some conferences recently where wireless access was freely available, but I really don’t understand why it seems like some associations don’t think of Internet access as a way to attract attendees to their conferences or as a perquisite of registration. Sure, Internet access is expensive and not everyone lugs a computer around with them. Would more do so if they had Internet access?
Science Library Pad broaches the idea of getting sponsorship for conference-wide Internet access. SLA can get sponsorship money for lots of other things. Why not?
Or how about the idea of getting some of our sponsor friends to support our individual Internet access? I’d be happy to slap a sticker on my machine saying “So-and-so paid for my Internet access” for free advertising. Since I can only be at the conference for the weekend, though, I don’t think it’s worth me bugging someone about it. Since I don’t think $300-400 is worth the cost even for the week, I’d have a difficult time convincing a vendor to pay for it for me. Though I could probably recoup some of the costs using a method a friend might try in a coffee house. I could sit with the machine in a public area and a sign that says something like “$5 for 30 minutes.”