Published 03/12/20


Dear ARLIS/NA Colleagues:

I regret to inform you that ARLIS/NA will not be holding its 48th Annual Conference in St. Louis, MO next month because of the serious health risks posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Please be assured that I appreciate your patience while we worked through the decision-making process. 

The conference planners and ARLIS/NA Executive Board hoped that the situation would improve, but restrictions on travel, CDC’s recommendations to avoid congregating in large groups, and the attendance limits in place at Washington University and Saint Louis University—where many of our events were to be held—meant that proceeding with the conference as planned would be both irresponsible and impractical. The health and safety of our membership and the population at large is of the utmost importance. 

Over the next couple of weeks we will be issuing full refunds to everyone who has already registered. Please cancel your hotel reservation. If you have received a travel award, we will be in touch on how to handle the award moving forward. 

This will be a substantial financial burden for the Society. If you choose to donate your refund to ARLIS/NA, it would be very much appreciated. If you do want to donate, please get in touch with Nancy Short directly.

I want to thank the conference planning committee and the co-chairs who planned what would have been an excellent conference. Although we were excited to show off St. Louis, we are considering how to share the content that presenters and moderators have developed; more on that soon.

If you have questions, please ask a member of the executive board, a member of the conference planning advisory committee, or our Executive Director, Nancy Short. We are here to answer your questions.

Be well.

Laura Schwartz
President, Art Libraries Society of North America 

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