In Washington DC, the annual conference of the American Library Association – the first such in-person ALA event in three years – concluded on Tuesday.
According to Andrew Albanese, Publishers Weekly senior writer, ALA officials reported 13,990 total registrations, with 8,023 attendees, mostly librarians, and 5,133 exhibitors, including publishers and technology vendors.
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ALA’s previous in-person annual conference, in 2019, was also held in Washington D.C., and attracted 21,460 total attendees. The 2018 conference in New Orleans drew 17,599.
“Getting 13,990 attendees to come to Washington after a pandemic – in a pandemic? –exceeded the organizer’s expectations,” Albanese tells me.
“Librarians arrived in Washington amid a host of significant political and cultural issues that were reflected in a great, wide-ranging professional program,” he adds. “The show floor was quite busy, with long lines for book signings by authors, vendor demos, and galley pickups.”