Wellness Programs at ALA 2020 Annual Conference in Chicago

American Library Association cancels 2020 Annual Conference due to COVID-19

The American Library Association’s Executive Board announced today (March 24, 2020) that the 2020 ALA Annual Conference & Exhibition scheduled for June 25-30 in Chicago has been canceled. 

“ALA’s priority is the health and safety of the library community, including our members, staff, supporters, vendors and volunteers,” said Wanda K. Brown, ALA president. “As the COVID-19 pandemic unfolds, it’s become clear that in the face of an unprecedented situation, we need to make tough choices.” 

2020 will mark the first time in 75 years that ALA has not held an Annual Conference. The last cancellation took place in 1945 as World War II neared its end. 

“We recognize the magnitude of this decision for the association and our membership,” said Tracie D. Hall, ALA executive director. “The Annual Conference brings together tens of thousands of passionate professionals and hundreds of authors and exhibitors every year to celebrate the transformative work of libraries across the country and around the world. Our coming together not only galvanizes the library and information profession and its stakeholders, but also provides opportunities for attendees to explore and connect with our host cities. This year, we were especially looking forward to the conference taking place in ALA’s hometown of Chicago; however, the well-being of our library community, staff and fellow Chicago residents has to be the number one concern, and that drove our decision-making.”

Julius C. Jefferson, Jr., ALA president-elect, agreed: “At this unprecedented and historic time the health and safety of our members and their families are our primary concern. I want us all to focus on our collective health so we may live to advocate for libraries and library workers another day.” 

Read the rest of this press release.