"People of the Books" Blog

AJL 2020 Conference Update #1

logo for AJL's 2020 conference

Due to the COVID-19 virus, the in-person conference has been canceled and a new virtual conference is being designed.

Your AJL Conference Update #1

by Marcie Eskin & Rachel Kamin

January 30, 2020

Shalom Safranim & Friends! You are reading the first in a series of conference updates to keep you informed about the upcoming Association of Jewish Libraries Conference in Evanston, Illinois, June 29-July 1, 2020.

In each update we will highlight information to help you make your conference plans.

The local Chicago planning committee, supported by the Judaica Library Network of Metropolitan Chicago, is hard at work. Here are some updates from our recent meeting hosted by Debbie Steinberg at the Ida Crown Jewish Academy:

  • The 2020 AJL Conference will be held at the Hilton Orrington, a 4-star hotel in the heart of downtown Evanston, a block away from the Northwestern University campus. The conference rate is $159/night (plus taxes and fees). Click here to reserve a room. After you select the dates you want, click on “MORE OPTIONS” and then on “Add Special Rate Codes.” Enter the code AJL20 in the box marked "Group Code." To reserve by phone, call 1-800-HILTONS referencing  “AJL Annual Conference, Chicago Vicinity June 2020” to receive the group rate. The cut-off date for this rate is Friday, June 5.
  • Our Conference will kick off with lunch and a keynote address on Monday, June 29 at 12:00pm. However, we encourage you to attend the ALA Conference the day before which is taking place in downtown Chicago (more information will be forthcoming). There will be some committee meetings on Monday morning as well as the Newcomer’s Welcome at 10:30am. Registration will open at 8:30am and the Exhibit Hall will open at 11am.
  • The Conference will conclude with lunch and the annual Feinstein Lecture on Wednesday, July 1, 12:15-1:45pm. Optional tours will be offered on Wednesday afternoon, departing from the Orrington at 2pm. Stay tuned for more information and plan to extend your stay.
  • The full conference Early Bird Rate for AJL members is $450 (by April 30). This includes all conference sessions and meals (lunch on Monday; breakfast, lunch & dinner on Tuesday; and breakfast & lunch on Wednesday). Per diem and other special rates will also be available.
  • We received more than 70 presentation proposals on a wide range of topics related to various aspects of librarianship, Judaism, the Jewish experience and Israel that will be relevant to library professionals working in academic and research institutions, archives, synagogues, day schools, and Jewish community centers as well as public schools and libraries serving Jewish communities. Acceptance letters will be going out the first week of February. Twenty-eight sessions will be offered – it’s going to be a great conference!
  • Several special programs during the conference are being planned, including an author showcase at the Evanston Public Library (right across the street from the hotel) on Monday, June 29 at 7:00pm. Plus, invitations have The AJL Chicago conference planning teambeen extended to the award-winning authors of the AJL Fiction Award and the Sydney Taylor Book Awards.

In the coming weeks and months, we will be posting additional information about registration, travel, vendors, tours, session details, volunteer opportunities and more. The 2020 AJL Conference promises to be innovative, exciting, and interesting plus it’s always "Cooler by the Lake"!

Marcie Eskin and Rachel Kamin, Local Conference Co-Chairs

Lisa Silverman, National Conference Chair

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