American Library Association Annual Conferences to return to New Orleans

NEWS
For Immediate Release
April 22, 2008<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

Contacts: Steve Zalusky
Communications Manager
ALA Public Information Office
(312) 280-1546
szalusky@ala.org

<?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Tara Letort/Kelly Schulz
New Orleans CVB
(504) 566-5019
tletort@neworleanscvb.com
Kschulz@neworleanscvb.com

Rosalie Mortillaro
New Orleans Morial Convention Center
(504) 582-3023
rmortillaro@mccno.com

American Library Association Annual Conferences to return to New Orleans

CHICAGO – The American Library Association (ALA) Executive Board has chosen New Orleans as its destination for its 2011 and 2018 annual conferences.

In 2006, the ALA annual convention was the first city-wide meeting held in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. Nearly 17,000 librarians and library supporters attended that convention. ALA’s willingness to hold the meeting in New Orleans helped encourage other groups to host conventions there, according to the New Orleans Metropolitan Convention & Visitors Bureau.

In addition, ALA members gave back to the city by signing up for more than 22 volunteer projects to help restore local libraries and assist with Habitat for Humanity, Common Ground and other community-building efforts.

“When ALA went to New Orleans in 2006, people thought we were crazy,” said ALA Executive Director Keith Michael Fiels. “The coming of the librarians ended up being one of the biggest national news stories of the year. We showed the country that librarians are serious about building community. The people of New Orleans were wonderful, and we had one of the most moving experiences and exciting conferences in our history. We’re really looking forward to returning to one of America’s most wonderful - and exotic - cities.”

"As in 2006, we continue to have confidence in New Orleans as a successful convention destination for ALA,” said Deidre Ross, director of ALA Conference Services. “That is why we are committed to New Orleans and have confidence in their expertise in supporting the biggest conferences and exhibits. We are looking forward to returning again and again."

“Nothing gives us more satisfaction than welcoming back ALA for its 2011 and 2018 annual conferences,” said Nikki Nicholson, vice president of sales for the convention bureau (http://www.neworleanscvb.com/). “We are grateful for ALA’s commitment to New Orleans and we know that their trust and confidence in us will be rewarded, as it was in 2006. Since that time, the city has flawlessly hosted hundreds of conventions and special events.”

Bob Johnson, president/general manager of the New Orleans Morial Convention Center, where the event will take place, said, “Their support sends a strong message that New Orleans is a preferred destination to host major meetings and conventions.”

About the American Library Association

The American Library Association (ALA) is the oldest and largest library association in the world with some 65,000 members, primarily school, public, academic and some special librarians, but also trustees, publishers, and friends of libraries. The Association’s mission is to provide leadership for the development, promotion and improvement of library and information services and the profession of librarianship in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all.

About the New Orleans Morial Convention Center (MCC)

With 1.1 million square feet of contiguous exhibit space, an award winning staff and first class amenities, the New Orleans Morial Convention Center (MCC) is the sixth largest convention center in the nation and a consistent Top 10 host of the largest number of conventions and tradeshows annually. A leading rainmaker of the city's hospitality industry, MCC event activity has produced a statewide economic impact of $35.17 billion since its 1985 opening, including $2.03 billion in new tax revenues. For more information about the New Orleans Morial Convention Center, please visit www.mccno.com.

Consistently recognized as one of the top five convention and visitor bureaus in the United States, The New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau is the driving force behind New Orleans' most important industry, tourism. Today the cultural riches, sensual indulgences and unparalleled service that define the New Orleans experience continue to flourish, as they have for centuries. The most celebrated and historic core of the city - including the French Quarter, Central Business District, Warehouse and Arts District, Magazine Street, the Faubourg Marigny and Garden District - are thriving. In 2007 New Orleans welcomed 7.1 million visitors. For more information, visit www.neworleanscvb.com.

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