• Who should attend an Annual Conference?

    Librarians, authors, publishers, business professionals, educators and students, anyone who is passionate about books, libraries, and eager to learn and shape the future of the library field.

  • Do I need to be a member of ALA to register?

    You do not have to be an ALA Member to attend. You may register and attend the conference at the non-member registration rate. To learn more about membership, view www.ala.org/membership/joinala

  • Why does it take so long to announce speakers?

    ALA relies on exhibitors to sponsor the appearance of top authors with forthcoming books.  Potential speakers are submitted to ALA for review by many groups, including the Conference Committee.  When selected, ALA then relies on the sponsor to lock in the speaking date and make the many necessary arrangements.  Although this process often begins nine months prior to the conference, ALA does not always control the timeline and announcement date. Some speakers do not finalize their tour schedules until the Spring and often other factors, such as security will impact the release of information.  

    To best facilitate your planning as an attendee, ALA provides a Schedule-at-a-Glance for each conference for you to use as we finalize the full and complete agenda.  

  • How do I register for a preconference?

    To register for a preconference, you can include it with your initial registration or add it later using the unique link in your email confirmation. If you don't have your registration confirmation handy, you can request a copy by emailing [email protected].

  • Why do discount registration rates end at Noon?

    Historically, we have had many registrants delay their registration and housing needs to the last minute.  An afternoon deadline allows our team sufficient time to hire adequate staffing and other appropriate resources.

  • What forms of payment does the onsite registration desk accept?

    We accept cash, check, MasterCard, Visa, and American Express onsite.

  • Does ALA have a code of conduct for its conferences?

    Yes, you will find the Statement of Appropriate Conduct at ALA Conferences posted on our website.

  • Will there be accommodations for attendees who require accessibility?

    ALA is pleased to offer scooters and/or interpreter services for attendees.  For details, please visit the Accessibility page, or contact the Conference Services Accessibility Hotline at 312-280-3225, or via email at [email protected].

  • Will conference sessions be recorded and how can I find them?

    Audio and video recordings of the sessions, that we have permission to release, will be made available four to six weeks, post-conference. An announcement will be made via email to all registrants.

  • Does ALA provide transportation from the hotels to the convention center?

    Yes. ALA and event sponsor, Gale, A Cengage company, provide complimentary shuttle services from the official ALA hotels to the Convention Center. 

  • Do you offer childcare at the Annual Conference?

     ALA will reimburse the charges expended on childcare in the amount of $25 per day, per child to a maximum of $50 per day, per family to any fully registered parent for each day of the Annual Conference. You must provide a receipt for childcare.  This covers only childcare in the parent’s hotel room or other residence in the meeting city (Chicago IL) and does not include charges for children’s food, transportation, gratuities, or for the sitter. ALA will not reimburse childcare expenses to attendees who live within the Chicago IL area that would be paid to the regular provider whether the parent was attending the Annual Conference or not. Parents may contact their hotel childcare center/babysitting service where it is available or find one online. Reimbursement forms are available at the ALA Conference Services Desk and must be signed by the individual performing the childcare services and presented by the parent to the ALA Conference Services Desk by June 29. Please note that all reimbursement will be mailed out to the attendee post-conference.

  • Will there be a New Mothers (or Nursing) Room available to attendees?

    Mamava Lactation Suites are available in the McCormick Place Convention Center - Lakeside Center Level 2 by the Gift Shop, South Level 2.5 across from Starbucks, and West Level 1 near the Main Information Desk on Indiana Avenue. Please download the Mamava Mobile App to unlock the suites. The McCormick Place First Aid Offices is available as well, located on Level 2.5 of the Grand Concourse in the South Building, and on Level 1 in the West Building.

  • Do you have a coat/luggage check?

    There will be a coat/luggage check available in the Convention Center.  Potential fee and open hours will be available closer to the conference date.

  • Does ALA provide a letter of attendance?

    The letter will be available through your dashboard from your registration confirmation. An email containing your letter of attendance will also be sent when you pick up your badge at Registration. 

  • Can non-members attend committee meetings?

    Yes, non-members who are registered for the day of a committee meeting or for the full Conference can attend any meeting that is not noted as "Closed."

  • Can I attend the ALA Awards Ceremonies if I have an Exhibits-Only pass?

    Yes, attendees registered for the full conference are able to attend ALA Awards ceremonies.

  • Can Exhibits Only registrants attend author signings?

    Yes. Exhibits Only registrants can attend author signings in the Exhibit Hall on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday only.

  • What is ALA's policy regarding wheeled devices on the Exhibit Floor?

    Strollers and scooters are permitted on the exhibit floor as long as they are in use at all times.  Wheeled carts are not permitted at any time. If you have a medical condition requiring you to use a wheeled cart, please bring a doctor's note to the accessibility booth in the Registration area.

  • Does ALA have any other tips for conference?

    Yes, please click on the following link for general Safety Tips to follow while at conference and for general travel. Safety Tips. Make the most of conference, especially if you’re a first-timer. First Timer. Job or employee seekers: Stay in touch with the ALA JobLIST Placement Center.

  • When will I need to change how I travel domestically?

    As of January 22, 2018, passengers who have driver’s licenses issued by a state that is not yet compliant with REAL ID and that has not received an extension will need to show an alternative form of acceptable identification for domestic air travel. Please see TSA’s website for a list of acceptable forms of identification. Passengers who have licenses issued by a state that is compliant or that has an extension to become compliant with REAL ID requirements may continue to use their licenses as usual. For a list of states already in compliance or with an extension visit DHS’s REAL ID webpage. DHS continually updates this list as more states come into compliance or obtain extensions.  

    Beginning October 1, 2021, every air traveler will need to present a REAL ID-compliant license or another acceptable form of identification for domestic air travel. A REAL ID compliant license is one that meets, and is issued by a state that complies with, the REAL ID Act’s security standards. 

    Travelers can check DHS’s REAL ID webpage at any time to learn if your state is compliant and can check with your state’s agency that issues driver’s licenses about how to acquire a compliant license. The earlier your state becomes compliant, the more likely you will be able to acquire a compliant license as part of the normal renewal cycle.

  • What are your tips for staying cool?

    Try the  4 L's:

    Layers - Dress in layers, as you will be moving from the heat outside to the cool in meeting rooms and hotels.

    Liquids - Drink plenty of "good" fluids; there will be water stations in the hotels and Convention Center. 

    Lighten - Lighten your load, and don't carry extra stuff with you as you'll likely be walking a lot. Plan your day for what you will need.

    Leisurely - Walk at a leisurely pace, whether you are inside, or out.

  • Does ALA agree with everything that is presented at the Conference?

    Because the Conference serves as an open forum, opinions expressed and/or materials distributed by program participants do not necessarily reflect, or imply advocacy or endorsement by the American Library Association, its officers, or members.

    The statements and opinions contained in the exhibitor descriptions in the Annual Conference Meeting Guide and Exhibits Directory are solely those of the individual exhibitors and not of the American Library Association. The appearance of advertisements in the Annual Conference Guide and Exhibits Directory is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of the effectiveness or quality. To the extent permissable under applicable laws, no responsibility is assumed by the ALA for any injury and/or damage to persons or property as a result of any actual or alleged libelous statements, infringement of intellectual property or privacy rights, or products liability, whether resulting from the negligence or otherwise, or from any use of operation, ideas, instructions, procedures, products, or methods contained in the material therein.

  • What is ALA's policy regarding children on the Exhibit Floor?

    Strollers are permitted on the exhibit floor, but only if there is a child in them at all times. Un-escorted children are not permitted on the exhibit floor. Children under the age of five must be under control at all times (stroller, pack, etc.). Any child over the age of five must have an Exhibits-Only badge to be admitted to the exhibit floor. These badges are available at onsite registration for $75. An adult must accompany all children under the age of 16.

  • Why is Chicago so frequently listed as a host city for the upcoming Annual Conferences?

    ALA makes a concerted effort to find adequate conference space in various host cities. However, due to the size of the ALA Annual Conference, few cities offer the required space to accommodate the significant needs of the event. Of those few cities, space is negotiated years in advance to effectively obtain the best rates possible. Our primary goal has always been to keep costs as low as possible, allowing us to offer competitive registration rates.

    Hosting in Chicago, the nation’s centrally located transportation hub, also means that ALA attendees can take advantage of the most efficient and easiest transportation routes. Based on registration history, Chicago’s ease of access and its wide variety of tourist activities, make it the most attended conference that we offer.

  • Don't see your question answered above?

    Ask using the Contact Us form.

    Throughout the conference, you can find information via Conference Scheduler updates, and American Libraries coverage. And don't forget to: