Have questions? We have answers!
Q: Who can attend the event?
A: Everybody! Any interested person is welcome to register and attend.
Q: What's included in the symposium registration?
A: the Friday evening opening reception, concurrent sessions all day Saturday and Sunday morning, the Book Blitz on Saturday evening, and the closing session on Sunday. All registrants also get a badge holder, a YALSA bag and up to five free books at the Book Blitz. Refreshments at the snack breaks between concurrent sessions are also free to registrants. All attendees will have access to a free webinar, and can sign up to receive a certificate of participation with contact hours.
Q: Will there be exhibits at the event?
A: No; however, YALSA will have a variety of items for sale, including selected books published by YALSA, t-shirts & gift items
Q: What opportunities will there be to meet authors?
A: Authors will be participating in programs, a luncheon on Saturday, the Book Blitz on Saturday, and the closing session on Sunday. The luncheon is a ticketed event separate from your regular registration.
Q: Can I get continuing education credits for participating in the Symposium?
A: YALSA will provide certificates to those who ask indicating how many hours of contact time attendees had at the symposium. Visit the registration area and fill out the sign-up sheet to request one.
Q: I am trying to make travel arrangements, what time does the Symposium begin and end?
A: The Symposium technically starts with a reception on Friday evening (programming begins Saturday morning) and will end at 1pm on Sunday. However, there are optional pre-conferences that you can register for that take place on Friday.
Q: Will all of the Symposium programs take place at the same hotel?
A: Yes. All programs will take place in the hotel. In 2019, the hotel is the Sheraton Memphis Downtown with a rate of $129. The special rate of $129 is available until October. After October, rooms for attendees cannot be guaranteed. Sometimes additional ticketed events are offered, such as city tours, or museum visits, and those take place off site.
Q: Are meals included in the registration fee?
A: No. Some snack breaks will be provided free to registrants between session, but meals are not included.
Q: What should I bring to the symposium?
A: business cards to hand out to people you meet, some cash or a credit card so you can shop in the YALSA store, and something to take notes on
Q: I can't attend the symposium in 2020. Will there be one in 2021?
A. Yes! YALSA's Board of Directors is working now to confirm a date and location.
Q: I live outside the U.S. and need an official invitation in order to support my travel. Who should I contact?
A: Please contact Nichole O'Connor at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: How does YALSA select locations for the symposium?
A: A wide variety of factors are considered to determine a location, including:
- the location is safe and welcoming to all
- overall affordability for attendees, including transportation and hotel rates
- size and proximity of airport to downtown
- lack of other library events in area at the time of Symposium
- not an area where YALSA has recently hosted a Symposium, Institute or other event
- not in a part of the country where ALA has recently hosted a major event
- prior success of other ALA functions in city
- potential draw as tourist destination
- size of area drive-in population
YALSA staff work a full two years in advance of the event to identify, vet and visit potential locations, and then submit a recommendation to the Board for their review and approval. Working two years in advance helps YALSA secure the lowest hotel rates for attendees.
Q: What does YALSA do to ensure the venue is welcoming to all attendees?
A: YALSA has worked with ALA to create a contract that builds in some proactive measures to ensure the venue is welcoming to all attendees, including:
- obtaining written assurance that the venue is in full compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act
- requiring the venue to notify us in advance if a strike or labor dispute occurs so that we might reconsider the venue
- requiring the venue to notify us in advance if other groups book an event at the same venue so that we might reconsider the venue
- including a "force majeure" clause in the contract that allows for YALSA to cancel the contract without penalty for things like acts of God, terrorism, war, etc.
YALSA staff also work on site at the event to ensure the spaces in use are safe and welcoming to all.
Q: What if a significant negative event occurs in the city or state where the Symposium is located prior to the event?
A: YALSA's Board will decide on a case-by-case basis whether to keep the event in the same location, move it, or cancel it. Factors to be considered include:
- The safety of attendees and staff
- The timeframe involved
- Whether other comparable, safe and welcoming venues are available
- Whether YALSA is able to cancel the contract with the venue without significant penalty
A decision to keep the event at the same location would only occur if the venue were still deemed safe for all. In such a case, YALSA will take additional measures to ensure the venue is safe and welcoming, and may also consider activities such as holding a fundraiser for a local cause or providing service opportunities so attendees can support those in the local community who may be in need of advocates.