"People of the Books" Blog

AJL 2020 Conference Update: February 26

AJL 2020 conference logo

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


AJL Conference Update

by Marcie Eskin & Rachel Kamin
February 26, 2020


Sunday, June 28, 2020

ALA conference header

In anticipation of the Association of Jewish Libraries Conference and the American Library Association Annual Conference both taking place in Chicagoland this summer, AJL has put together two programs at ALA on Sunday, June 28, 2020. We would love to see AJL well-represented at ALA! We encourage you to schedule your arrival in Chicago to attend at least one full day of ALA and join us at one or both of these exciting events. Note that our AJL conference rate at the Hilton Orrington Evanston of $159/night (plus taxes) is available beginning Sunday, June 28.

Combating Antisemitism and Islamophobia with Multicultural Children’s Literature

10:00 AM (Location TBD)

Joint Presentation sponsored by The Ethnic & Multicultural Information Exchange Round Table (EMIERT) & the Association of Jewish Libraries

With the rise in antisemitism and Islamophobia, the need to break down stereotypes is more urgent than ever. This panel will offer an overview of "mirror and window" children's books that give readers a better understanding of Jewish and Muslim cultures. Experts in Judaic and Muslim kidlit, including AJL’s own Susan Kusel and Heidi Rabinowitz along with Sadaf Siddique and Gauri Manglik from Kitaab World, will share the history and current state of each genre, introduce specific titles, and discuss issues common to publishing while a minority.

A Little Schmooze. A Little Nosh: A Little Chat. A Little Food.

Late afternoon, Time & Location TBD

Join the Association of Jewish Libraries at our third Schmooze & Nosh event! Meet members of AJL's Board and Council, network with Jewish librarians from around the country and listen to publishers and authors discuss their upcoming work, all while noshing on delicious kosher refreshments! This event will take place in a nearby ALA Hotel. Additional details will be provided as soon as we receive them.

ALA Exhibit Hall

Take advantage of the enormous number of exhibitors who participate at the ALA Annual Conference. Exhibits Only Badges are available that include access to the exhibits on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Note: the discounted early bird deadline ends on March 15. 

ALA Annual Conference

The majority of the conference will take place in the McCormick Place Convention CenterSome sessions will occur at various, nearby hotels. Detailed location information for sessions will be available when the Scheduler opens. McCormick place is 16 miles south of the Hilton Orrington Hotel (approximately 30-40 minutes by car or cab). Public transportation is also available but could take up to 90 minutes and does involve some walking.

While badges will not be necessary to attend “Combating Antisemitism and Islamophobia with Multicultural Children’s Literature” at 10:00 am or “A Little Schmooze. A Little Nosh: A Little Chat. A Little Food” in the afternoon, we encourage you to “make a day of it” and experience all that ALA has to offer. One Day rates are available for members, non-members, retirees, and students.  Note: No discounts are given to ALA Affiliates like AJL. You must be an ALA member to get the member rate.

Click here for a preliminary list of additional sessions taking place on Sunday, June 28 at the ALA Annual. Visit the ALA Conference website for more information. If you have any questions, reach out to these AJL members who regularly attend the ALA Conference: Emily Bergman ([email protected]), Susan Kusel ([email protected]) or Elliot Gertel ([email protected]).


To read previous weekly conference updates, go to the 55TH ANNUAL CONFERENCE 2020 page of the AJL website and scroll down to the “Documents” section.


Association of Jewish Libraries
Annual Conference
June 29-July 1, 2020
Hilton Orrington Hotel
Evanston, Illinois
[email protected]

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