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American Library Association Midwinter Meeting
The American Library Association (ALA), the oldest and largest library association in the world, holds the ALA Midwinter Meeting & Exhibits in January. The conference draws more than 10,000 leaders and staff, educators, writers, publishers, Friends of libraries, trustees, special guests and exhibitors from the library and information industry for some 2,400 meetings, programs, discussion groups, events, in-depth conversations and exhibits, united by the theme “The conversation starts here . . .”
More than 450 exhibiting companies feature the latest in books, digital products including online services and software, furniture and other materials and services vital to today’s libraries, librarians, and users.
Highlights include the announcements of the ALA Youth Media Awards that honor children’s and young adult authors and illustrators and producers of children’s audio and video materials, including the prestigious Caldecott and Newbery medals, the Coretta Scott King Book Awards and Printz awards. The RUSA (CODES) literary awards are also unveiled at Midwinter Meeting.
Current bestselling authors such as Caroline Kennedy, John Green and David Baldacci appear in the Auditorium Speakers series. The Arthur Curley Memorial Lecture series, attended by around 500 people each year, has hosted speakers such as Al Gore, Neil Gaiman, Jamal Joseph, Ishmaek Beah and Lisa Genova.
Other activities include:
- The President's Program featuring a prominent speaker addressing a topic of significance. Past speakers have included David McCullough, Amy Goodman, Malcolm Gladwell and Andrew Slack.
- Candidates for ALA offices presenting their views during a Candidate's Forum open to ALA membership.
- The ERT/Booklist Author Forum where top authors talk about their work with a Booklist editor.
- ALA Masters Series offering insight into hot trends and issues, with experts from across library specialties describing their latest in-house innovations in fast-paced 45-minute sessions.
- “News You Can Use:” expert updates on policy, research, statistics, technology, and more, based on new research, surveys, reports, legislation/regulation, projects, beta trials, focus groups and other data provided by ALA divisions and offices and other organizations and companies across library-related fields.
- Gala Exhibit Opening Reception featuring entertainment and giveaways by exhibitors.
- Adult Literature Spotlight. Two hours devoted to the celebration of adult fiction and non-fiction, with galley giveaways and author signings in the exhibits.
- Presentation stages in the exhibit hall including Book Buzz Theater, Mobile App Presentations, What’s Cooking @ ALA, and PopTop Stage (Popular Topics, Every Day, featuring authors discussing their latest works in popular genres such as mystery, romance, travel and story-telling.)
- The ALA JobLIST Placement Center operated by the ALA Office for Human Resource Development and Recruitment connects job seekers and employers, and offers free career counseling and interviewing facilities.
- The ALA Store offers books, division publications, celebrity READ posters, bookmarks, t-shirts, mugs and other items. Most of the items are also available year-round at the ALA Online Store (http://www.alastore.ala.org/).
- Conversation and spontaneous opportunities at Friday’s Unconference, Monday’s Library Camp, and the Networking Uncommons.
- The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Sunrise Celebration on Monday morning, honoring Dr. King’s legacy.
- United for Libraries Gala Author Tea featuring authors and book giveaways.
Conference communications include the official conference website, a dedicated Twitter hashtag, a Facebook Event, a Pinterest page, a Google+ group, a Tumblr, and full conference coverage in the show daily Cognotes and in ALA’s member magazine American Libraries. ALA Conference Services provides a toolkit for potential attendees to show how they’ll be more valuable to their institution after attending Midwinter Meeting.
Upcoming Midwinter Meetings:
- 2016 Midwinter Meeting, Boston, MA: January 8-12, 2016
- 2017 Midwinter Meeting, Atlanta, GA: January 20-24, 2017
- 2018 Midwinter Meeting, Denver, CO: February 9-13, 2018
- 2019 Midwinter Meeting, Seattle, WA: January 25-29, 2019
- 2020 Midwinter Meeting, Philadelphia, PA: January 17-21, 2020
- 2021 Midwinter Meeting, Indianapolis, IN: January 22-26, 2021
For exhibit or registration information, visit the Midwinter website at http://alamidwinter.org. For press registration, call 800-545-2433, extension 3223. Also, see the ALA website at http://www.ala.org/conferencesevents.