Especially for anyone interested in research, a great way to experience the exciting side of the LIS field is to attend a conference. If you’ve already done some interesting research, then submitting a paper is the way to go, but even those of us (the majority in non-thesis based programs) with nothing to present should attend when the opportunity arises.
One of the biggest and most respected library conferences is put on annually by the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA), and this year it will be held in Quebec City, which is good news for anyone who will be in the area in August. The theme of the conference is Libraries without borders: Navigating towards global understanding, and although the registration fee is rather expensive (even at the student rate), anyone who volunteers will be entitled to attend some portion of the event for free (from what I’ve heard, volunteers will be able to attend one day of the conference for each day they volunteer).
If you’ll be able to travel to Quebec City in August, I highly recommend that you register as a volunteer. The conference runs from August 10th-14th, but volunteers are needed each day from the 6th-16th. The ILSS will be there (the blogger, not the blog), so drop me a line if you’ll be attending. And don’t delay – the deadline for volunteering is March 1st.
Note: The volunteer registration form indicates that you must be able to speak French to volunteer, but even if you don’t know any French, you might as well fill out the form anyway, and they can decide whether or not they want to take you. Just be honest when they ask about your level of language proficiency.