Chicago, Il. October 26 – The American Library Association (ALA) announced that their 2006 Annual Conference will be held in New Orleans from June 22 - June 29, 2006.
The following statement has been issued by ALA President Michael Gorman:
"I am pleased to announce that we are planning to hold our 2006 ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans.
"As you know, we have been following the situation in Louisiana very closely over the last two months, and have been receiving almost daily reports from local authorities on the damage and reconstruction efforts following Hurricane Katrina. Last week, a delegation from ALA traveled to New Orleans to assess the situation. The delegation found that downtown, the French Quarter, and the Garden District had largely escaped flooding, and that essential services have been fully restored in those areas. They found the conference center and conference hotels bustling with hundreds of workman repairing broken windows, installing new drywall and laying new carpeting. Restaurants are reopening on a daily basis, and plans are already underway for Mardi Gras in February.
"Our primary concern, of course, must always be the health and safety of our members. Both the Louisiana Department of Public Health and the Federal Environmental Protection Agency have found no cause for concern on the part of visitors to New Orleans. By law, all of the ALA conference hotels have conducted or will soon be conducting EPA air quality audits and all restaurants must meet strict inspection requirements prior to reopening. While much publicized, health advisories regarding mold have directed to those re-entering flooded houses.
"We realize that many sections of the city, and particularly the Ninth Ward, have suffered tragic damage, and that many New Orleans residents have lost their homes forever. If we truly care about the residents of New Orleans, however, the best thing that the association and its members can do is to go to New Orleans and lead the reconstruction by example. Our conference will help to provide the jobs and tax revenues needed if residents are to reestablish their lives and for the city to fully restore services, including library services. We speak often of how libraries build communities, and we now have chance to show the country and world that librarians build communities, too.
"I hope that you will join me in New Orleans. I am certain that we will have an extraordinarily productive and enjoyable conference, as we enjoy the welcome and celebrate the rebirth of a city we all love.”
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“With over 20,000 delegates and a large percentage of the association’s revenue at stake, the ALA’s decision to recommit to New Orleans for June 2006 was not to be taken lightly by any of the involved parties,” Kitty Ratcliffe, Executive Vice President for the New Orleans Convention and Visitor’s Bureau said. “We are very pleased with their decision, the result of which will fill up 7,500 hotel rooms in New Orleans next June. The benefit to the rebirth of New Orleans cannot be understated.”
About New Orleans Metropolitan Convention & Visitors Bureau (NOMCVB)
Since 1960, the New Orleans Metropolitan Convention & Visitors Bureau (www.neworleanscvb.com) has been the driving force behind New Orleans' most important industry, attracting $4.9 billion to the region annually. Nationally recognized for superior customer service, NOMCVB represents over 1,200 members and provides convention services and visitor information for business travelers and vacationers. Last year, the NOMCVB welcomed a record-breaking 10.1 million visitors to one of America's favorite meeting and leisure destinations. The NOMCVB is committed to rebuilding the city of New Orleans.
About the American Library Association
The American Library Association is the oldest and largest library association in the world, with more than 64,000 members. Its mission is to promote the highest quality library and information services and public access to information. ALA offers professional services and publications to members and nonmembers, including online news stories from American Libraries and analysis of crucial issues from the Washington Office.
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