About the Institute & FAQs

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The ALSC National Institute is everything you need in one place--programming, keynotes, networking and much more.  This intimate, intensive learning opportunity with a youth services focus is designed for front-line youth library staff, children’s literature experts, education and library school faculty members, and other interested adults. It is one of the only conferences devoted solely to children's librarianship, literature and technology and takes place every two years.

The 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 more than 4,000 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 the Institute?
A: The Institute is designed for front-line 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-members, students, presenters and groups.

Q: What is included in my registration?
A: Your registration fee includes Thursday's Opening General Session dinner and Saturday's breakfast, as well as refreshment breaks and receptions throughout the event. Keynote presentations featuring authors and children’s literature experts are also included with your registration. Housing, transportation, and meals outside of those listed on the schedule are not included with registration. 

Q: Will there be exhibits at the event?
A: Yes! Tabletop exhibits will be located outside the general session ballroom. Designated exhibit hours occur during program breaks. For a full lineup of Institute events, including exhibit hours, please see the Institute schedule (forthcoming). If you are interested in securing a tabletop exhibit, please see our sponsorship brochure (forthcoming). Tabletop exhibits are included in Gold sponsorship packages.

Q: What opportunities will there be to meet authors?
A: Our keynote speakers will participate in book signings following their presentations. Attendees will benefit from an on-site bookstore where they can buy books to have signed by their favorite creators.

Q: Can I get continuing education credits for attending National Institute?
A: Unfortunately, the Institute is not offering CEUs at this time. However, we encourage you to speak with your state licensing board to determine how much continuing education credit you could earn through your participation. 

Q: I am trying to make travel arrangements, what time does the Institute begin and end?
A: The Institute schedule is still in development. The first formal event, Opening General Session, is scheduled for the evening of Thursday, September 29, 2021 and programming will run through Saturday, October 1. ALSC will update the Institute schedule as the agenda for Institute is confirmed.

Q: Will all of the Institute programs take place at the same hotel?
A: Yes. All programs take place at the Kansas City Marriott Downtown. There may also be additional evening receptions that occur offsite. For more information about these receptions, please visit the ALSC Connection page.

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

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 the event that program rooms are chilly
  • The Institute is "going green" this year; all program handouts will be accessible on our website. A direct link to this page will be sent to attendees a few weeks before the Institute. If you'd like printed handouts, please plan to print them at home and bring them with you.
  • Notebook for program notes
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 2022 National Institute Task Force
  • Crystal Faris, Task Force Chair, Kansas City Public Library
  • Sarah Bean Thompson, Springfield-Greene County Library District
  • Melody R Frese, Ladue Middle School
  • April Roy, Kansas City Public Library
  • Brandy Sanchez, Daniel Boone Regional Library
  • Stephanie Smallwood, Springfield-Greene County Library District
Q: I can't attend the Institute in 2022.  Will there be one in 2023?
A: No; the Institute takes place biennially in even years. The next National Institute will occur in 2024. ALSC is in the process of planning some smaller, virtual programming between Institutes and to meet the needs of members who are unable to travel and attend in-person.

Other Logistics

Cancellation Policy
The Institute is offered on a cost-recovery basis. ALSC reserves the right to cancel the 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. Substitutions are welcome at any time. Otherwise, registration cancellations must be made in writing (via email) to both Sarah Polen and Member and Registration Services no later than Friday, August 26, 2022. Cancellations will result in a full refund less $50 processing fee. No phone cancellations will be accepted. Refunds will be processed after October 21, 2022. No refunds will be given after the cancellation deadline date for any reason other than hospitalization or death. Proof of hospitalization and/or funeral services must be attached to refund request.

Problems or questions regarding housing? Contact Sarah Polen, Program Officer for Continuing Education, at 312-280-4026, or via email.

ALSC members receive a significant discount on Institute registration, in addition many other member benefits. 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. Direct your membership questions to MRS via email or 800-545-2433 and press 5. MRS representatives are available Monday–Friday, 8:30 AM–4:30 PM Central.

Photographic Policy
At the moment, ALSC has no specific plans to have an official photographer at the conference; however, we want to ensure that any photos that are taken (whether by conference staff or by fellow conference attendees) are done in accordance with attendee wishes. Please let us know your photography comfort level by indicating this in the "Photographic Policy" section on your registration form. Badges or lanyards will use indicator colors for all to note your preference.

Problems or questions regarding registration? Contact Sarah Polen, Program Officer for Continuing Education, at 312-280-4026, or via email.

Interested in sponsoring and/or exhibiting at the National Institute? Contact Sarah Polen, Program Officer for Continuing Education, at 312-280-4026, or via email.

Statement of Appropriate Conduct at the ALSC National Institute
All participants, including speakers, 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.

Other Questions
Contact Sarah Polen, Program Officer for Continuing Education, at 312-280-4026, or via email.