The American Library Association (ALA) just wrapped up its first in-person annual conference since 2019. Held in Washington, D.C. from June 23-June 28 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center and surrounding hotels, the conference drew about 14,000 attendees. While that’s a decrease from the more than 21,000 who attended the last conference, which was also held in Washington, D.C., it’s a “more than respectable” number, according to Publishers Weekly.
As Publishers Weekly also noted, traffic in the exhibit hall was steady, lines for books signings were long, and enthusiasm was high. The conference provided an example of how politics and meetings may intersect, with many librarians taking time from the convention center to join protests at the nearby Supreme Court after the decision striking down Roe V. Wade was announced on June 24.
Speakers on the main stage were a stellar group of writers, including actor and author Tiffany Haddish, bestselling kids’ horror writer R.L. Stine, and novelist Celeste Ng.
Future ALA annual conferences are scheduled for Chicago (2023), San Diego (2024), Philadelphia (2025), Chicago (2026), and New Orleans (2027).