About the Institute & FAQs

National Institute is presented by the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), the world's largest organization dedicated to the support and enhancement of library service to children. From creative programming and best practices to continuing education and professional connections — ALSC members are innovators in the field of children's library service. ALSC's network includes children's and youth librarians, children's literature experts, publishers, education and library school faculty members, and other adults dedicated to engaging communities to build healthy, successful futures for all children.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Who can attend National Institute?
A: National Institute is designed for patron-facing youth library staff, children’s literature experts, education and library school faculty members, and other interested adults. Registration categories exist for ALSC Members, ALA Members, non-ALA members, students, library support staff, and more. Education program presenters receive discounted registration rates.

Q: What is included in my registration?
A: Your registration fee includes:

  • Four incredible keynote sessions
  • Two full days of education programming
  • Thursday's Opening General Session dinner
  • Refreshment breaks throughout National Institute
  • Networking opportunities
  • Any virtual/recorded content considered part of National Institute's program

Housing, transportation, and meals outside of those listed on the schedule are not included with registration. Preconferences require a separate registration and fee.

Q: Will there be exhibits at the event?
A: Yes! More information on exhibitors will be available later in 2024.

Q: What opportunities will there be to meet authors?
A: Our keynote speakers will participate in book signings following their presentations. Attendees are welcome to bring their own copies for book signings and will also benefit from an on-site bookstore where they can purchase books onsite to have signed by attending creators.

Q: Can I get continuing education credits for attending National Institute?
A: National Institute does not offer CEUs. However, we encourage you to speak with your state licensing board to determine how much continuing education credit you could earn through your participation. Certificates of attendance are available upon request following National Institute; please allow up to two weeks after your request for ALSC staff to issue that certificate.

Q: I am trying to make travel arrangements. What time does the Institute begin and end?
A: The National Institute schedule is still in development. The first formal event, Opening General Session, is scheduled for the evening of Thursday, September 19, 2024, and programming will run through the evening Saturday, September 21, 2024. ALSC will offer two preconferences on Thursday, September 19, 2024, in advance of the Opening General Session for those who are interested in the content and can facilitate an earlier arrival.

ALSC will update the Institute schedule as the agenda is confirmed.

Q: Are meals included in the registration fee?
A: Your registration fee includes Thursday's Opening General Session dinner as well as refreshment breaks and noted receptions throughout the event. Meals not noted in the Institute schedule will be at the attendees' expense.

Q: What should I bring to the Institute?
A: We recommend bringing the following items:

  • Business cards to hand out at networking events
  • Sweater or jacket to wear in case program rooms are chilly
  • Notebook for program notes

Q: What should I wear to National Institute?
A: National Institute is a professional development experience for children's librarians. We recommend whatever you might wear to work, but we also encourage you to dress in a way that is comfortable for you. (These can be long days!) We also encourage you to join us in Standing Up for Stories by wearing National Institute gear, which can be found on the ALA Spreadshirt site.

Saturday we're inviting attendees to wear their "finest children's librarian ensemble". Is it jeans and your summer reading tee? A particularly punny #kidlit shirt? A Very Hungry Caterpillar dress? The choices are endless!

Q: Who organizes National Institute?
A: ALSC National Institute is organized by a combination of ALSC staff, who manage conference and event-planning logistics, and a National Institute Task Force, comprised of ALSC members including location-specific members, who drive theme, content, networking, and other elements of the event. Without these member-leaders, National Institute could not happen.
ALSC is pleased to recognize the 2024 National Institute Task Force
  • Jessica Fredrickson (chair)
  • Cydney Clink
  • Melissa Depper
  • Carol Edwards
  • Monique Ramos
  • Desiree Sotomayor
Q: I can't attend the Institute in 2024. Will there be one in 2025?
A: No; the Institute takes place biennially in even years. If you cannot join us in 2024, we hope to see you in 2026 - location TBA!

Logistical FAQs

Statement of Appropriate Conduct at National Institute
All attendees, including speakers and exhibitors, are expected to observe the rules and behaviors described in the Statement of Appropriate Conduct in all conference venues, including online venues and conference social events. The statement includes contact information to report incidents of harassment.

Cancellation Policy
National Institute is offered on a cost-recovery basis. ALSC reserves the right to cancel National Institute, or any portion of, if there is insufficient registration or for other reasons. Neither ALA nor any of its divisions are responsible for cancellation charges assessed by airlines or travel agencies, or other losses incurred in the cancellation of the Institute. All information listed on this website is subject to change.

Attendee Cancellation Policy
Cancellation is limited. All registrations must be made online or over the phone with ALA's Membership and Registration Services. Otherwise, registration cancelations must be made in writing (via email) to both Sarah Polen and Member and Registration Services no later than Friday, August 30, 2024. Cancelations will result in a full refund less $50 processing fee. No phone cancelations will be accepted. Refunds will be processed after October 22, 2024. No refunds will be given after the cancelation deadline date for any reason other than hospitalization or death. Proof of hospitalization and/or funeral services must be attached to refund request.

Substitutions are welcome at any time.

The housing block for National Institute will open on April 1, 2024. Housing information will be available on attendees' welcome emails, which will be issued within two business days of registration.

Problems or questions regarding housing? Contact Sarah Polen, Deputy Director, at 312-280-4026, or via email.

Reasonable accommodations are available upon request. Contact Sarah Polen, Deputy Director, at 312-280-4026, or via email, no less than one month in advance of National Institute to discuss onsite accommodations.

Membership in ALSC
ALSC members receive a significant discount on Institute registration, in addition many other member benefits throughout the year. ALA and ALSC membership is managed by the ALA Membership and Registration Services (MRS). You can join or renew/rejoin/add to your membership using ALA’s secure online form; or call 800-545-2433 and press 5. MRS representatives are available Monday–Friday, 8:30 AM–4:30 PM Central.

Photograph Policy
Attendance at this event constitutes permission for your photograph or video to be taken at the event and used for ALSC & ALA purposes.

Interested in sponsoring and/or exhibiting at the National Institute? Contact Sarah Polen, Deputy Director, at 312-280-4026, or via email.

Other Questions
Contact Sarah Polen, Deputy Director, at 312-280-4026, or via email.