I don't mean to sound negative about the value of conferences, memberships
etc., however I do think in many cases the expense, at least for an
organization, is not justified.  It seems to me that this whole business of
member organizations, workshops, conferences has become in itself "big
business."  And it seems the general "business community" simply accepts
the expense of such for employees as a needed and routine cost of doing
business.  But, I've often wondered if this sort of thing is becoming just
a "money pit," in the sense that organizations collectively spend major
dollars on an expense that is often questionable in terms of actual return
on investment.

I know that in many cases, memberships and conferences benefit the
individual much, much more than the organization they work for....and
therefore as a company expense become moreso a "fringe benefit" for the
employee.  That's why I think those of us within public organizations have
to be more careful in spending money in these areas.  The money, after all,
belongs to the public.  And nobody ever said "the rest of the public" is
responsible for supporting your or my career objectives, etc.

Just my .02 worth....

Gus Harris
Records Manager
Univ. of West FL
Pensacola, FL

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