“The 2023 attendance was well below the 23,000 the conference drew to its last annual conference in Chicago, in June of 2017,” noted Andrew Albanese, Publishers Weekly. “But it is a nice bump of more than 13 percent from the 14,000 who participated in last year’s event in Washington, D.C.”
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According to the Albanese, the ALA conference highlighted an organized response from the library and publishing communities to politicized attacks on the freedom to read.
“Make no mistake, this year’s ALA was exactly what the library community needed,” he tells me. “On the show stages, in the meeting rooms, and on the show floor, librarians were praised for their work and all they are doing in standing up for the freedom to read, which was very much the theme of the conference.”