The American Library Association annual conference was set to occur on June 25th and it has been officially cancelled. This is the first time in 75 years that ALA will not run an expo, the only other time was during World War 2.
“We recognize the magnitude of this decision for the association and our membership,” said ALA executive director Tracie D. Hall. “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.”
This is a serious blow to librarians who often find out about the latest trends and vendors, peddling their wares. It is also an opportune time for digital distributors to hype up their various ecosystems and try to sign contracts.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.