The American Library Association’s executive board announced Tuesday that the scheduled June 25 to 30 ALA Annual Conference & Exhibition in Chicago has been canceled. President Wanda K. Brown said, “As the COVID-19 pandemic unfolds, it’s become clear that in the face of an unprecedented situation, we need to make tough choices.” It’s the first time since 1945 that the ALA has not held an annual conference.
But Reed Exhibitions is still hoping to hold a delayed Book Expo and Book Con in New York in late July. Simon & Schuster joined PRH and HarperCollins on Tuesday afternoon in announcing that the house would not participate, however: “After careful consideration, Simon & Schuster has made the difficult decision to not attend the BookExpo and BookCon shows this year. We value the opportunity to interact with booksellers, librarians, international publishers and, of course, readers, and look forward to other opportunities to engage with them in support of our books and authors.”
Book Expo show director Jenny Martin says in a statement they still hope to proceed. “We are of course aware and disappointed that some groups have made the decision not to join us in July. However, we have many customers and partners, including the ABA who are grateful and supportive of the decision to forge ahead with new dates later this summer.”