The Conference Committee met in June, during the Annual Conference and the following summary captures the plan in place for the Future of Midwinter:
The Future of Midwinter
The future of Midwinter transition will begin in January 2021 in Indianapolis, which will still be under the Midwinter brand and we will use this opportunity to possibly test different programming concepts. The meeting in Indianapolis will be a continued effort to utilize a smaller campus for meetings and events with designated space for ALA Governance (Council, Board, Committees), Division and Round Table Boards, Award Juries (books, media, notables), and ethnic affiliate Boards.
A newly branded event will launch in January 2022 in San Antonio followed by New Orleans in 2023.
The new event will feature education, networking and engagement activities that support ALA's core values, key action areas and strategic directions. This will include issue forums focused on Advocacy, Information Policy, Professional & Leadership Development, and Equity Diversity & Inclusion. There will be 3 primary content streams that include the Future of Libraries, Readers Advisory, and EDI programming. The current plan is for every other year to include an EDI collaboration to contribute content to the program, beginning in 2023. A sub-theme of the conference will have a leadership development emphasis to attract and capitalize on the growing need for resources and programming specifically for the rising stars and future leaders within the association.
Focusing on the traditional core of libraries – books, literacy, and multimedia collections, award celebrations will include the Youth Media Awards, Andrew Carnegie Medals Announcements, RUSA Book and Media Awards Ceremony and Reception, and the I Love My Librarian event.
The exhibit hall will be designed to create meaningful education and networking platforms that encourage connections with the exhibitors that provide products and services to ALA members. Exhibitors should anticipate a schedule with more dedicated/non-compete hours on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Note-During the conference committee meeting it was recognized and discussed that members will need guidance on how to meet differently moving forward. A subcommittee, to be chaired by Patty Wong, was formed to work on tips for members and committees to conduct their business more efficiently in a virtual capacity.
As we are carefully and continuously designing the landscape of this project, there will be more details forthcoming on this exciting engagement opportunity for the members and stakeholders of ALA.
Earla Jones, MS, CMP
Director, Conference Services
American Library Association