ACRL 2021 Conference going virtual due to COVID-19

For Immediate Release
Thu, 10/01/2020


Tory Ondrla

Conference Manager


CHICAGO - The Association of College and Research Libraries’ (ACRL) Board of Directors announced today that the face-to-face portion of the ACRL 2021 Conference scheduled for April 14-17, 2021, in Seattle, Washington, has been canceled because of the serious health risks posed by COVID-19 but will continue as a virtual-only event.

“ACRL’s highest priority is the health and safety of our community,” said ACRL President Jon E. Cawthorne of Wayne State University. “The Board feels that moving ACRL 2021 online is the best option to ensure that safety while continuing to provide the high-quality, interactive programming you’ve come to expect from our conference.”

The virtual ACRL 2021 Conference will be held over approximately the same dates in April 2021. More details about the virtual conference are forthcoming.

“While the Conference Committee is understandably disappointed that ACRL 2021 cannot happen in person, we are excited to channel our efforts into taking the conference virtual,” ACRL 2021 Conference Chair Beth McNeil noted. “We are grateful for your support and patience while we work through the details and look forward to welcoming everyone safely to the virtual event this spring.”

Proposal deadlines for ACRL 2021 remain unchanged. Contributed paper, panel session, preconference, and workshop proposal notifications are expected to go out by the end of December 2020. The deadline for Lightning Talk, Poster, Roundtable, TechConnect, and Webcast submissions has been extended to Monday, November 9. ACRL 2021 scholarship applications will also be automatically transferred to consideration for scholarships for the virtual conference.

“We are disappointed not to be together with our colleagues in Seattle,” added ACRL Interim Executive Director Kara J. Malenfant. “But at the same time, we are excited to funnel all of the enthusiasm, creativity, and terrific content to create a virtual event that is informative, engaging and memorable for the community.”

Additional information and updates on ACRL 2021 are available at


The Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) is the higher education association for academic libraries and library workers. Representing nearly 10,000 individuals and libraries, ACRL (a division of the American Library Association) develops programs, products, and services to help those working in academic and research libraries learn, innovate, and lead within the academic community. Founded in 1940, ACRL is committed to advancing learning, transforming scholarship, and creating diverse and inclusive communities. Find ACRL on the webFacebookTwitterInstagram, and YouTube.