Why it is Absolutely Unacceptable for the SBL to Charge for AV Equipment at the Annual Meeting

As related by James McGrath– after describing the ridiculous lack of AV equipment available for conference participants, he writes

This whole thing is a bit of a fiasco. I remember someone mentioning in the question and answer time after the blogger session that the key to computer integrating technology effectively and consistently into teaching and research is to not treat it as an optional extra that can be cut, but to treat it instead the way we do electricity and plumbing – also technologies, but ones we do not cut when the budget is tight. In the same way, wi-fi, projectors and screens should not be viewed as optional add-ons. Printing handouts merely so that someone can have the primary texts in front of them during a talk, when these could be projected on a screen or distributed electronically, seems wasteful. And assuming that delivering a talk without PowerPoint, Keynote or Prezi is the default is unhelpful.   Hopefully this message will be taken to heart by the leadership of SBL, and we’ll make sure that future conference venues provide everything that presenters need, without charging extra for microphones, podiums, glasses of water, chairs, or projection.

Perhaps it’s time for all of us who are members of the SBL to write the Executive Director (in a professional and cordial manner of course) and express our dismay at the situation.  He can be laid hold of here- sblexec@sbl-site.org, and Charlie Haws (a really nice young man) can be laid hold of here- charles.haws@sbl-site.org.

Here’s my note- sent today:

Dear Colleagues,

Doubtless you are aware of the discontent of many SBL members at the surcharge for AV equipment at the Annual Meeting which just concluded.  May I request, with all humility, that in future such costs be integrated into the registration fee for attendees and participants.  Surely, then, individual presenters won’t need to bear the high cost of such equipment themselves and the Society will not be left with the unpleasantness of absorbing the cost itself.  If an additional 3 or 4 dollars were added to registration fees then surely it would be better than what happened this year.

I hope, quite sincerely, that the issue is at least discussed by the SBL executives and other involved planners.  Elsewise there might be even more discontent next year.

Yours most sincerely,


If you’re a member of the SBL, might I encourage you to express your thoughts to the above named persons as well?

7 thoughts on “Why it is Absolutely Unacceptable for the SBL to Charge for AV Equipment at the Annual Meeting

  1. Fine, i’ll do it this time. But don’t ask me to do another reasonable thing which is both responsible and well suited to the organization.


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