FAQ for YALSA's Symposium

Have questions? We have answers!

Q: Who can attend the event?
A: Everybody!  Any interested person is welcome to register and attend.

Q: What's included in the symposium registration?
A: The Friday evening opening reception, concurrent sessions all day Saturday and Sunday morning, the Book Blitz  and the closing session on Sunday.  All registrants also get a badge holder.   Refreshments at the snack breaks between concurrent sessions are also free to registrants. Attendees can receive a certificate of participation with contact hours.

Q: Will there be exhibits at the event?
A: Limited

Q: What opportunities will there be to meet authors?
A: Authors will be participating in the Opening session on Friday, programs, The Margaret A. Edwards Award Luncheon, Morris Author Panel and Book Blitz on Saturday and the Closing session on Sunday.  The Margaret A. Edwards Award luncheon is a ticketed event separate from your regular registration.

Q: Can I get continuing education credits for participating in the Symposium?
A: YALSA does not issue continuing education credits. Conformation of Attendance specifying hours of education programming and general session programming are available upon request to yalsa@ala.org.

Q:  I am trying to make travel arrangements, what time does the Symposium begin and end?
A:  The Symposium technically starts with a reception on Friday evening (programming begins Saturday morning) and will end at 1:30 pm on Sunday.  However, there are optional pre-conferences that you can register for that take place on Friday.

Q:  Will all of the Symposium programs take place at the same hotel?
A:  Yes.

Q: Are meals included in the registration fee?
A: No. Some snack breaks and receptions will be provided free to registrants between session, but meals are not included.

Q: What should I bring to the symposium?
A: Business cards to hand out to people you meet, comfortable shoes and a sweater or jacket in case the meeting space is cool, and something to take notes on.

Q: Does ALA/YALSA support the full scope of ideas and information presented at the Symposium?
Because the event serves as an open forum, opinions expressed and/or materials distributed by program presenters and participants do not necessarily reflect, or imply advocacy or endorsement by the American Library Association, Young Adult Library Services Association, its officers, or members.

Q: Where will the 2023 Symposium be held?
A. YALSA's 2023 Symposium will be in St. Louis, MO., November 10-12 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel.  

Q: I live outside the U.S. and need an official invitation in order to support my travel. Who should I contact?
A: Please contact yalsa@ala.org requesting a letter. Include your full legal name, mailing address, current employer, how long you have been involved in the library community and at least two goals for attending this event.

Q: How does YALSA select locations for the symposium?
A: A wide variety of factors are considered to determine a location, including:

  • the location is safe and welcoming to all
  • overall affordability for attendees, including transportation and hotel rates
  • size and proximity of airport to downtown
  • lack of other library events in area at the time of Symposium
  • not an area where YALSA has recently hosted a Symposium, Institute or other event
  • not in a part of the country where ALA has recently hosted a major event
  • prior success of other ALA functions in city
  • potential draw as tourist destination
  • size of area drive-in population

YALSA staff work a full two years in advance of the event to identify, vet and visit potential locations, and then submit a recommendation to the Board for their review and approval.  Working two years in advance helps YALSA secure the lowest hotel rates for attendees.

Q: What does YALSA do to ensure the venue is welcoming to all attendees?
A: YALSA has worked with ALA to create a contract that builds in some proactive measures to ensure the venue is welcoming to all attendees, including:

  • obtaining written assurance that the venue is in full compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act
  • requiring the venue to notify us in advance if a strike or labor dispute occurs so that we might reconsider the venue
  • requiring the venue to notify us in advance if other groups book an event at the same venue so that we might reconsider the venue
  • including a "force majeure" clause in the contract that allows for YALSA to cancel the contract without penalty for things like acts of God, terrorism, war, etc.

YALSA staff also work on site at the event to ensure the spaces in use are safe and welcoming to all.

Q: What if a significant negative event occurs in the city or state where the Symposium is located prior to the event?
A: YALSA's Board will decide on a case-by-case basis whether to keep the event in the same location, move it, or cancel it.  Factors to be considered include:

  • The safety of attendees and staff
  • The timeframe involved
  • Whether other comparable, safe and welcoming venues are available
  • Whether YALSA is able to cancel the contract with the venue without significant penalty

A decision to keep the event at the same location would only occur if the venue were still deemed safe for all.  In such a case, YALSA will take additional measures to ensure the venue is safe and welcoming, and may also consider activities such as holding a fundraiser for a local cause or providing service opportunities so attendees can support those in the local community who may be in need of advocates.