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ALA Conference Committee Report: 2015-2016, through Midwinter 2016

On behalf of ALA Conference Committee Chair Clara Bohrer, I am posting the following report:



COMMITTEE:                               ALA Conference Committee (standing)

TIME PERIOD:                            2015-2016—Through Midwinter Meeting 2016

REPORT SUBMITTED BY:          Clara N. Bohrer, Chair, 2015-2016


 ACTIVITIES OF THE COMMITTEE: (including the 2016 Conference Program Coordinating Team)                       

 This report covers activities of the ALA Conference Committee on ALA Connect and at the 2016 ALA Midwinter Meeting.

  • Reviewed the 2016 Annual Conference and 2017 Midwinter Meeting skeleton schedules for approval by the ALA Executive Board during the 2016 Midwinter Meeting.  The Committee made no changes to the schedules as presented.
  • Received an update from staff on the registration and budget targets for the 2016 Midwinter Meeting.
  • Received an update from staff on the move away from ALA Connect and the impact on the scheduler.  New scheduler is a work in progress and committee was asked to provide input on their experiences.
  • Received an update from staff on the use of the new integrated proposal-to-final program system which has increased efficiency and reduced error-prone repetitive data entry at difference stages.
  • Staff reported on existing contract language that helps to address the concerns of the Task Force on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.  The Committee will continue to reviews TF recommendations relevant to ALA conferences.  Invitations to speak at the 2016 ALA Annual Conference have been issued to several speakers recommended by the TF.
  • Discussed a potential upcoming Council resolution on accessibility of ALA conferences and meetings for people with disabilities.  Staff provided an update on current practices. The mover of the Council resolution provided some background.
    • After an hiatus,  a representative from ASCLA’s Accessibility Assembly  will be regularly appointed to the ALA Conference Committee by ASCLA.The committee had a discussion on accessibility issues at conferences and expressed interest in receiving an accessibility checklist relevant to conference planning.
  • Reviewed a list of potential Auditorium Series speakers and recommended preferred speakers to ALA Conference Services for 2016 Midwinter Meeting and 2016 Annual Conference.
  • Participated in voting for the Ignite sessions at the  2016 Midwinter Meeting.
  • Discussed the experience of implementing the "Deep Dives" pilot programming at the 2016 Midwinter Meeting.  Evaluations are being collected and will be reviewed by the Committee.
  • Discussed the process (preliminary, since subject to feedback from evaluations) for the next set of "Deep Dives" pilot programming at the 2017 Midwinter Meeting.
  • Heard a proposal from staff regarding a branding opportunity for the Midwinter Meeting with the Center for the Center for the Future of Libraries to offer program content with a focus on innovation and trends impacting libraries, both short and long term.
  • Reviewed and evaluated proposed Annual Conference 2106 programming to identify any major content gaps.


Next Face-to-Face Meetings:

  •  2016 Annual Conference—Saturday, June 25, 8:30 – 10:00 a.m. 2016 & 2017 Conference Program Coordinating—Saturday, June 25, 10:30-11:30
  • Work will continue on ALA Connect between face-to-face meetings as needed.


 Face-to face meeting participants (MW 2016):

 ALA Conference Committee:  Clara Bohrer (chair), Sara Kelly Johns (Executive Board), Mary Hastler (Division Representative), Aaron Dobbs (Division Representative), Carla Land (Councilor-at-Large), Hannah Kyung Lee (Chapter Councilor), Martha Goddard (ASCLA Accessibility Assembly), Ken Stewart (Division Representative) Peter Hepburn, Mary Ghikas (staff), Alicia Navarro (staff)

 Conference Program Coordinating Team:  Alice Calabrese-Berry (United for Libraries), Katherine Louise Kan (YALSA Representative), Mary Pagliero Popp (RUSA Representative), Trisha Burns (PLA Representative), Evviva R. Weinraub (LITA Representative), Nikki Winslow (Round Tables Representative), Ken Stewart (AASL Representative), Mary Ghikas (staff), Alicia Navarro (staff)