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2009 Annual Conference Membership Meeting

Minutes of the Exhibits Round TableMembership MeetingJuly 13, 2009McCormick Place, Chicago

The meeting was called to order by Chair, Kathy Young, at 8:00 am.

Board members in attendance:

Kathy Young, ChairKay Runge, Librarian Vice-ChairJoe Frueh, Vendor Vice-ChairJohn Ison, Secretary   Ernie DiMattia, TreasurerJay AskuvichOsha GulaGeneva HollidayAthena MichaelGene ShimshockTodd Voorhees

 Staff present:

Deidre Ross, ALA Conference ServicesPatrick Murphy, ALA Conference ServicesPaul Graller, Hall-Erickson, Inc.

 Treasurer’s Report

Asset balance was at $15,714 as of May 31, 2009 compared to $14,418 on the same date in 2008.

 Membership Report

Personal memberships were 148, up two from 2008; Organizational memberships were 33, up one; Corporate memberships have decreased by 20 to 240.

 Exhibit Hall Improvements

Kathy announced that ALA has agreed to provide seating throughout the exhibit hall for attendees and negotiate for improved food service at future conferences.

 ERT Web Site

Geneva announced that the article Gene & Joe wrote for American Libraries and the PowerPoint program Gene developed for the ALA 101 sessions would be available on the web site.


Kay reported that 2,400 people attended the Bash at the Art Institute.  This was the same number as at Disneyland in 2008.

ERT Sponsored Programs

Kathy reminded the group that exhibitors were welcome to present proposals for programs at the Annual Conference to the ERT board.  If the board agrees that the program is of interest to ALA membership and will informative without being commercial, it can be added to the program with ERT sponsorship.

 ALA 101

Kathy outlined the promotional events that the board is presenting in the ALA pavilion and invited members to stop in to see them.

 Conference Registration

Deidre reported that registration figures through Sunday included 2,144 paid exhibit-only registrations and 6,800 free exhibit passes.  Total registration counts for the past three years are:


                                Chicago ’09        Anaheim ’08       DC ‘07

Librarian                    22,164               15,769               20,603

Exhibitor                      6,091                5,699                7,003

Total                         28,255               21,468               27,606

 Discussion and comments from the floor

Concerns were voiced about the lack of no-conflict time at the conference.  Deidre explained that the conference program is broken into several tracks for attendees to follow and that each track has no-conflict time built in.

Deidre also outlined the new three-day exhibit schedule and noted that the Friday evening reception was a new no-conflict time.

Kathy outlined other activities that ERT and Conference Services have recently undertaken to promote attendance at the exhibits including:

  •         The article in American Libraries
  •         The Cooking Pavilion
  •         The interactive pre-show Cognotes
  •         SuperTuesday and now, the opening reception

Exhibitors expressed displeasure with the badge lanyards.  Kathy assured the group that Conference Services was committed to ensuring that only lanyards which don’t turn the badges backwards would be used at future conferences.

There was a discussion about revising the procedures for selecting and assigning booth spaces at ALA.  One suggestion was that we investigate using a system similar to Texas Library Association.

A great deal of displeasure with the food service operation at McCormick Place was voiced including concerns about slow service, lack of seating, food quality, and prices.  Kathy told the group that Conference Services had agreed to build in improvements to this in all future contracts with convention facilities.

Kim Olsen-Clark from the ALA Development Office thanked exhibitors for supporting ALA and reminded the group of the benefits of becoming a Library Champion.

Melissa Brechon reminded exhibitors that libraries are under a great deal of financial stress and asked that vendors support libraries by getting on library boards and publicly speaking out for libraries.

Cindy Boyle and Mary Ann Rupert invited exhibitors to participate in the Texas Library Association and New England Library Associations conferences.

Election Results

Kathy announced the results of the board election as follows:

Athena Michael and Joe Freuh were elected to their first full three-year terms and John Ison was elected to a second three-year term.  Melissa Brechon was elected to a first three-year term as a librarian representative.

The meeting adjourned at 8:55.

Minutes prepared by John Ison, Board Secretary.