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Chapters and Conferences

ALA and Chapters and ALA Conferences and Meetings

ALA and ALA Chapters have a special business relationship. 

The American Library Association’s annual conferences, midwinter meetings and divisional national conferences are major continuing education and leadership development benefits of ALA membership. The association recognizes that geographical proximity of the conference is one factor in member’s conference attendance and, in some cases, membership in ALA.  ALA members hold the opportunity to participate in national conferences as an important association value.  The geographical rotation of ALA conferences and division national conferences is a strength of the association.

The relationship between ALA and Chapters in relation to Annual Conference and Midwinter is defined in policy 7.17:

7.1.7 Annual Conference and Midwinter Meeting: Impact on Chapter Conferences

When ALA proposes sites for Annual Conferences and Midwinter Meetings, the Executive Board shall ensure open and prompt communication with state and regional chapters in the geographic area of a proposed conference, involving members in each step of the conference planning process, allowing them input in site selection or termination. These chapters shall be notified in writing of a desired conference prior to submitting the request to the Executive Board. Such notice shall seek the cooperation of the Chapters with respect to scheduling and programming to the extent feasible. ALA shall contact the host Chapter prior to determining date availability with the host city. ALA shall contact the Chapters in the geographical area immediately after determining date availability with the host city. In the event of a conflict with the ALA state or regional Chapters and the proposed ALA Conference, the ALA Executive Board shall make the decision in consultation with the Chapters.

The host Chapter shall be offered a variety of cooperative opportunities with ALA including but not limited to: a complimentary booth, mailing labels or a list of ALA members in their state, and free meeting space; an invitation to co-sponsor the Opening General Session; art, copy or both for an announcement of the Conference to go to Chapter members either as a separate mailing or in the newsletter of the Chapter; cooperation with publicizing the conference through interviews and press releases; meeting space for a program or business meeting, and representation on the local arrangements committee. A complete list of options shall be sent to the host Chapter from the Conference Services Director.

ALA will not provide direct financial remuneration to Chapters.

Notification of Intent To Hold Annual Conference or Midwinter Meeting

The Associate Executive Director, Member Programs and Services coordinates the scheduling of ALA conferences. ALA Conference Services will send notification to Chapters in the geographical region of a desired conference.  The Chapter Relations Office will receive simultaneous notification of the desire to schedule a conference.  (Note: ALA plans its Annual Conferences and Midwinter Meetings 10-15 years in advance.)

Host Chapter Benefits

A Host Chapter is the State Chapter in which the conference is taking place.

Host Chapters receive:

  • Complimentary 10 X 10 booth on the Exhibit Floor
  • 2 Complimentary registrations for officers/exec. director
  • 2 sets of VIP reception invitations for officer/exec. director
  • Complimentary mailing labels of ALA members in state
  • “Division” discount for registration for members of both ALA and Chapter (Annual only)
  • Recognition as “host” at ALA Opening General Session (Annual only)
  • Free meeting space
  • Opportunity to host a preconference (costs borne and revenue received by Chapter)
  • Opportunity to set up tours and events (costs borne and revenue received by Chapter) (Annual only)
  • Opportunity for sale of items at conference store (under same arrangement with ALA divisions and units where ALA Publishing receives 20% of revenue)
  • Opportunity for joint efforts with ALA (conference, scholarship fund-raiser, hotel negotiation with national chains, etc.)

Contiguous Chapter Benefits (instituted in Fall 2002)

A Contiguous Chapter is a state or regional chapter that borders the Host Chapter.

Contiguous Chapters receive:

  • Complimentary registration for officer/exec. director
  • 1 invitation to any VIP reception
  • Complimentary mailing labels of ALA members in Chapter
  • Opportunity to host a preconference (with costs borne and revenue received by the Chapter

(This summary will be sent to all Chapters and kept on the Chapter Relations Office website)

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Document describing the business relationship between ALA and the Chapters regarding ALA Annual and Midwinter conferences