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ALA Annual Conference 2006ALA Annual Conference 2006
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More Details About New Orleans
Read "Stories From New Orleans" - updated weekly (links to a new page)

Check out Fodor's Online Guide to New Orleans: Published just in time for Mardi Gras, travel publisher Fodor’s has put together a free, full-color, downloadable travel guide to New Orleans as part of the company’s commitment to covering the post-Katrina city.

2006 Annual Conference in New Orleans Wiki

ALA Helps to Revitalize New Orleans Video
See for yourself what this conference means to the city. Grab a cup of coffee and watch the ALA Revitalizes New Orleans video featuring featuring local librarians, local authors and ALA President Michael Gorman and President-elect Leslie Burger.

You can view the video in RealPlayer, or view the video in QuickTime.

(Please note that we are using an outside service to stream the video. You may need to download RealPlayer or QuickTime.)
This video may take several minutes to download, so please be patient. The video is seven minutes long.

What will I find at the 2006 ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans?
Programs, exhibits, meetings – and a chance to make a difference!

  • Over 2300 scheduled meetings and programs – including over 250 tracked program sessions on a broad range of topics. Major speakers include Madeleine Albright (The Mighty and the Almighty: Reflections on America, God, and World Affairs), Caroline Kennedy, Anderson Cooper (Dispatches from the Edge: A Memoir of War, Disasters, and Survival), Tom Sancton (Song for My Fathers: A New Orleans Story in Black and White), and John Wood (Room to Read).
  • A full exhibit hall including over 900 exhibitors, plus opportunities to meet the authors, poster sessions, the Live! @ Your Library Reading Stage – and the Exhibits Closing Reception.
  • Scholarship and Relief Bash. Proceeds will go toward Library School Scholarships and Katrina Library Relief Fund.
  • Community Service Projects, Sneak Preview of the First Documentary about Librarians, Newbery Caldecott Banquet, Coretta Scott King Breakfast, Auditorium Speaker Series.
  • ...and for the 2nd year, The Book Cart Drill Team World Championship
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Will there be enough hotels open in New Orleans?
As of June 1, 2006, there are over 27,300 of 38,000 hotel rooms available in metropolitan New Orleans. Two-thirds are open to visitors, while the remaining one-third is contracted to various agencies.

Conference hotels are listed in the January and March issues of American Libraries. The list includes: Bourbon Orleans, Chateau Sonesta, Courtyard by Marriott Convention Center, Crowne Plaza, Doubletree Hotel, Embassy Suites, Hampton Inn Convention Center, Hampton Downtown, Hilton Garden Inn Downtown, Hilton Garden Inn French Quarter, Hilton New Orleans Riverside (Headquarters), Hotel Intercontinental, Hotel Monteleone, JW Marriott Hotel, Loews New Orleans, New Orleans Marriott (co-headquarter), New Orleans Marriott at the Convention Center, Omni Royal Orleans Hotel, Omni Royal Crescent, Renaissance Arts Hotel, Renaissance Pere Marquette, Residence Inn convention Center, Royal Sonesta Hotel, Sheraton New Orleans (co-headquarter), Springhill Suites, W Hotel New Orleans, Windsor Court Hotel, Wyndham Canal Place.

  • Most of the 25+ conference hotels have already reopened and are housing relief workers while repairs are being completed. The Hilton is housing work-study students from Dillard, who will leave when their school term ends in early June. Hotels in the ALA block are not generally being used to house refuges. Individuals displaced by the hurricane were generally being housed in “long term stay” hotels further out. Return to Table of Contents

    Will restaurants be open?
    More than 1,000 restaurants in the New Orleans metropolitan area are open as of April 2006. This includes 18 major new restaurant openings that have opened in the metro area, and most of the city's culinary treasures, including such renowned restaurants as Galatoire's, Emeril's, Arnaud's, Bayona, Restaurant August, Bacco's, Palace Cafe, Lilette's, Brigsten's, Cuvee's, NOLA, Bourbon House and Antoine's. In addition, many of the city's favorite neighborhood hotspots such as Mother's, Casamento's, Ralph's on the Park, Clancy's, Jacques-Imo's, Upperline, Acme Oyster House, Cafe du Monde, Tommy's and Pascal's Manale are also open.

    Open Now: Antoine’s, Arnauds, August, Aunt Sally’s Praline Shop, Bacco’s, Bourbon Pub/Parade, Café Beignet, Café Bienville Restaurant & Bar, Café Brasil, Café du Monde, Café Giovanni, Café Maspero, Cris Owen’s Club, Clancy’s, Court of Two Sisters, Cuvee, Déjà vu, Dickie Brennan’s, Emeril’s Restaurant, Fat Tuesday, Food Art, Galatoire’s, Irene’s, Jimmy Buffett;s Margaritaville, Johnny White’s Sports Bar, K-Pauls, Mike Anderson’s Seafood Restaurant, Mona’s Café, Morton’s, Mother’s, Muriel’s Jackson Square, New Orleans Steamboat Natchez, Nola’s, Palace Café, Parasol’s Pralines by Jean, Pat O’Brien’s, Peristyle’s, Place Café, Ralph and Kacoo’s, Remoulade, Red Fish Grill, Restaurant August, Rib Room, Rivers Edge, Rock ‘n Sake, Ryan’s Irish Pub, Sake Café Japanese Restaurant, SunRay Grill, The Bluebird Café, The Chart Room, Tommy’s Cuisine, Tre Mulate’s (formerly The Original Cajun Restaurant), Upperline, Vincent’s Italian Cuisine, Windsor Court-Sweet Adelines, ZydeQue Cajun Barbeque.

    This is only a partial list. Restaurants are reopening on a daily basis. Before any establishment serving food can be reopened it is examined by the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals for compliance with all regulations regarding water safety and food handling. Check on your favorite restaurants at, and click on “Yes We Are Open.” You can also check at or

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    What about transportation to New Orleans?
    Ten major airlines are currently providing service to New Orleans: AirTran, American, Continental, Delta, Jet Blue, Northwest, Southwest, TED, United and US Airways – 77 daily round trip flight operations to 27 non-stop locations. By April 2006, there will be 95 daily flights, with a total of 11,000 seats. By June 2006, the airport will “max out” at 101 flights, with 12,000 seats. As usual, ALA will provide information to the airlines to help them gauge demand. All normal routes to/from the airport are open. In addition to air service, Amtrak has resumed service to and from New Orleans.

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    What about transportation within New Orleans?
    Taxicab, shuttle and rental car services are available. All normal routes to/from the airport are open. The largest taxicab company in New Orleans recently held an “all drivers” meeting and reports that they already have over 50% of their taxis up and running. The service continues to increase as demand increases in this highly market-driven business. The Majestic New Orleans Canal Street Line and the Riverfront Line streetcars are running. In addition, New Orleans Regional Transit Authority is operating 24 bus lines in the downtown New Orleans area. Streetcars and buses are free through June 30, 2006.

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    Will I have an opportunity to assist in the New Orleans recovery effort while attending the 2006 Annual Conference?
    Yes. There will be two community service days in which you can participate. One on Friday, June 23 and one on Tuesday, June 27. Sign up on the registration form for Annual Conference. There will be transportation to and from each activity and every participant will receive a tee shirt and lunch. Service day activities are being developed in coordination with the New Orleans Public Library and other local agencies. Specific information on specific service opportunities will be available in April. Sign up on the registration form for Annual Conference by entering event code AL1 (Friday) or AL2 (Tuesday) “Librarians Build Communities” found under the “Events Add On” section. Your registration fee of $10 will be contributed to the ALA Hurricane Katrina Library Relief Fund.

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    I’m planning to bring my family. Will there be things for them to do while I’m in meetings?
    Yes. New Orleans is rich in cultural attractions and many of them have reopened, including the Audubon Zoo and the Louisiana State Museum, Mardi Gras World, The Aquarium of the Americas and the Imax Theater, as well as other museums. Shopping? Major urban shopping destinations, including The Shops at Canal Place and The Riverwalk, as well as Jax Brewery are open, offering visitors a full complement of national stores, specialty shops and boutiques. Boutiques, art galleries and antique stores are open throughout the city. The French Quarter has shops waiting for you. Baseball? The New Orleans Zephyrs Baseball Season Opener is April 6. There also are many tours, ranging from walking tours of the French Quarter to excursions to historic sites in the New Orleans area.

    The core of the New Orleans hospitality and tourism destinations are storm-debris free, open and thriving, including the Faubourg Marigny, French Quarter, Warehouse Arts District, Garden District/Uptown, Audubon and University section, Carrollton and Riverbend, and historic Algiers on the city’s westbank, including hotels, restaurants and retail.

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    Will I see evidence of significant hurricane damage at the convention center and conference hotels?
    No, not at all.

    • As previously planned, ALA will be using Halls F-J. There was no damage in the exhibit halls. In the lobby areas, cleaning is to commercial grade specifications and carpet is being replaced. The meeting rooms will be completely redone, including new carpeting and new furniture. There was no damage to the Auditorium. Kitchens are being cleaned to stringent hospital standards. Repairs at the convention center are running ahead of schedule, with sections of the convention center schedule to reopen April 1 now hosting events in mid-February.
    • Many of the hotels in the block had damage from wind, i.e. broken windows, and consequently some water damage. As a result, hotels replaced dry wall, carpeting, drapes and other “soft goods.” The Fairmont Hotel, Ritz Carlton and Iberville Suites, which did have some flood waters in their basements, and which were intended to be in the ALA housing block, will not re-open until third or fourth quarter of 2006. ALA was able to get sufficient additional rooms in other hotels to compensate for the closed hotels. The Hyatt Hotel suffered significant damage, but was never in the ALA housing block as it is too far from the Convention Center.
    • Prior to reopening to the general public, hotels undergo environmental remediation and inspection. The remediation process has varied from hotel to hotel, based on the exact nature and extent of the water intrusion. Remediation contractors conduct room-by-room assessments against EPA standards. After remediation work is completed, the clearance process includes visual inspection, as well as sampling for airborne fungal spores and ongoing monitoring. Water sampling, to ensure that no contamination had occurred, was also completed.
    As of February 9, the New Orleans Metropolitan CVB reported that “all major clean up” in the French Quarter, Central Business District, Arts and Entertainment District, Magazine Street and Saint Charles Avenue areas had been completed.

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    Should I have health concerns specifically related to New Orleans?
    The environmental assessment released by the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality and the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals, as well as statements from the New Orleans Department of Health, based on repeated testing, confirm that the city is safe for residents and visitors. Mold found within structures which have been through remediation has been removed. While mold is readily removed from nonporous surfaces, drywall that was affected as been removed and replaced. ALA staff visiting New Orleans in the fall noted the widespread replacement of drywall in hotels, as well as new carpeting and other “soft goods.” All major storm debris-removal in the French Quarter, Central Business District, Arts and Entertainment District, Magazine Street and Saint Charles Avenue areas have been completed.

    Dr. Stephens, Director of the New Orleans Department of Health, spoke to association executives visiting New Orleans January 18, 2006, and stated that the Health Department has worked side by side with the EPA, DEQ, CDC and other environmental organizations that have tested, retested and continue to test land, sea and air. Dr. Stephens concluded that the test results show the city is safe for our citizens and visitors. Various federal, state and local agencies have conducted tests on the quality and safety of water and food, including the area’s seafood, and all have been pronounced safe to consume.

    Rest assured you can breathe easy in the Big Easy! Click Official rating scales rate the air quality in the “good” zone.

    We also note that ALA members are working in the city and nearby areas, and we have heard from many of them, who are delighted to have ALA coming to New Orleans. Individuals with specific health problems should, as always, seek the advice of their physician.

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    If I have a medical emergency while in New Orleans, will there be nearby hospitals?
    Yes. The following hospitals, convenient to the conference location, have reopened:

    • Touro Infirmary, 1404 Foucher Street, New Orleans - On October 12, Touro Infirmary resumed its full medical, surgical, obstetrical and neonatal intensive care services.
    • Tulane University Hospital and Clinic, 1415 Tulane Ave. - Reopened 2/14 with 50 beds, expected to increase to 200 beds in a few months.
    • University (Charity) Hospital reopened Monday, April 24, 2006. Charity Hospital’s emergency suite reopened in Elmwood, accepting serious trauma patients from four parishes, including Orleans, Jefferson, St. Bernard and Plaquemines. Other emergency cases, including chest pain, stroke, broken limbs and less-serious illnesses are being treated in an temporary emergency clinic at the former downtown site of Lord & Taylor’s (Poydras Street at New Orleans Centre).
    • Other hospitals in New Orleans currently open 24-hours/day include the following:
      • Alton Ochsner Foundation Hospital, 1514 Jefferson Highway, 504-842-3000 - On February 9, Ochsner Foundation reported hiring 55 physicians.
      • Army Combat Support Hospital, Convention Center, Henderson Street Entrance
      • Children’s Hospital, 200 Henry Clay Ave.
      • East Jefferson General Hospital, 4200 Houma Blvd., Metairie - East Jefferson General Hospital and Doctors Hospital remained operational hrough the Hurricane Katrina.
      • West Jefferson General Hospital, 1101 Medical Center Blvd., Marerro
      • Lakeside Hospitals, 4700 South I-10 Service Rd., Metairie
      • USS Comfort, 600 Poland Ave., New Orleans
    Additionally, ALA contracts medical service at the Convention Center itself – a mini-infirmary. The office, approximately 600sf, is located outside Hall E. It is staff by a certified nurse and equipped with beds and emergency equipment such as defibulators. There are red phones located in the lobby area, providing a direct line to this office. Should it be an emergency situation, a call would be placed to 911 and the ambulance service would take the injured person to Tulane University Hospital. New Orleans EMS is currently running 24-hour operations with 33 units/day.

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    What about more routine medical services?
    There is also a list a clinics in Orleans Parish open daily from 9am-4pm, including:

    • Tulane CBD Practice Plan Clinic, Foot of Canal Street, Near Harrah’s
    • Covenant House, 611 North Rampart St., Downtown
    • Uptown Square Clinic, At Broadway and St. Charles Ave.
    There are also pharmacies available – and a current list will be provided on site.

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    What about security?
    The Vieux Carre Police station is up and fully functional in the hear of the French Quarter. The New Orleans Police Force currently includes 1469 officers, compared to 1680 pre-Katrina.

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    Are other associations continuing to hold conferences in New Orleans?
    Yes. The following associations have announced or re-confirmed conferences in New Orleans:

    • USA Volleyball Open Championships and Annual Meeting, May 27-June 1, 2006 (5,000 attendees projected)
    • The National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics – June 20-23, 2006
    • Air and Waste Management Association – June 20-23, 2006 (3,000 attendees projected)
    • Airborne Law Enforcement Association, July 19-22, 2006 (1,000 attendees projected)
    • Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship International – July, 2006 (25,000 attendees projected)
    • American Psychological Association, August 10-13, 2006 (16,000 attendees projected)
    • Ancient Egyptian Arabic Order Nobles, August 2006 (20,000 attendes projected)
    • Louisiana Restaurant Association, August 2006 (16,000 attendees projected)
    • American Society of Human Genetics, October 2006 (6,000 attendees projected)
    • Society of Exploration Geophysicists, October 1-6, 2006 (12,000 projected)
    • The American College of Emergency Physicians 2006 Scientific Assembly -- October 15-18, 2006 (6,000 attendees projected)
    • American Society of Reproductive Medicine – October, 2006 (6,000 attendees projected)
    • Federation of Societies for Coatings Technology – November 1-3, 2006 (6,500 attendees projected)
    • National Association of Realtors -- November 8-13, 2006. (25,000 attendees projected)
    • International Work Boat Show – November, 2006 (4,000 attendees projected)
    Large regional tradeshows have also been held at the Morial Convention Center, including the following:
    • Helen Brett Enterprises Gift and Jewelry Show, moved from late January to early February.
    • New Orleans Boat Show, held March 8-12, 2006 (originally scheduled at the Superdome)

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    Are preliminary registration figures for the 2006 ALA Annual Conference looking good?
    At this point, registration is on target. While early, there are almost 2,500 pre-registered. Pre-Katrina, the New Orleans conference was budgeted for approximately 20% fewer than Chicago, based on regional demographics. Currently, registration is about 19% behind the Chicago conference. Approximately 60% of the ALA hotel rooms have already been reserved – a strong sign.

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