Education and Meetings

  • Pre-Midwinter Institutes

    Check out the wide range of institutes offered by ALA divisions, offices, and round tables for conveniently timed in-depth professional development on key and current topics. Find details, including how to register, in “Ticketed Events.”

  • Preliminary Session Descriptions

    The Preliminary Session Descriptions will help you to identify areas of interest at the upcoming ALA Midwinter Meeting.

    Click here to see what's happening!

  • BluuBeam

    BluuBeam is back to help provide the best conference experience!

    You’ll get links to content like slides and handouts (to use on-site or save for later) for programs and sessions such as News You Can Use and Ignite Sessions, and information from places like the ALA Store, ALA Lounge, and the Networking Uncommons when you visit their space. You can also save the link to your favorite sessions.

    Click here for for details on how to download the BluuBeam app!

  • News You Can Use: Updates and Implications

    Experts offer the latest updates on policy, research, statistics, technology, and more in these sessions, based on new research, surveys, reports, legislation/regulation, projects, beta trials, focus groups, and other data. Update providers include ALA divisions and offices, the ALA Digital Content Working Group, and a wide range of other organizations.

    Click here for the News You Can Use Schedule!

  • Deep Dive Workshops

    “Deep Dive” half-day education sessions for active, participatory learning in a workshop-style setting, Saturday-Monday. CEUs will be available, with registration for each session capped at 25. Topics will include futuring, diversity and inclusion, community engagement, and others. Advance registration (separate from Midwinter registration) required.

    Click here to find details, including how to register!


  • Discussion Groups

    The Midwinter Meeting features more than 200 Discussion Groups—loosely organized sessions on broad and timely topics, each sponsored by an ALA division, round table, or office. These generally highly interactive sessions may or may not have a speaker and are more open discussions than informational.

  • Kitchen-Table Conversations

    Don’t miss your chance to be at the “kitchen table” for conversations with others in the ALA community (members, staff, attendees, external allies and partners) to dig into our shared aspirations for ALA. Everyone is welcome; these conversations help us all understand how others see things and are an important step in having your voice heard as we look at how we can collaborate and create together. Times, locations, and sign-up information will be posted here when available.

  • Ignite Sessions

    Special informal opportunities to hear the latest from your library colleagues on what's working in their libraries and beyond.  Ignite speakers present for exactly five minutes on what they're most passionate about in the library world, and inspire the audience to join them. Each five minute Ignite talk is accompanied by 20 slides.

    Click here to view the Ignite Schedule!

  • Masters Series

    Jason Griffey-Measuring the Future

    How understanding your spaces can make your library better for everyone

    Saturday, January 9, 12:30pm-1:30pm

    One of the most valuable assets a library has is the physical building itself, but aside from gate count we have remarkably little information about how it’s used. What if you could have a Google Analytics style dashboard and understanding of what happened in your library yesterday? Over time, longitudinal data about activity in your library can do amazing things: allow you to plan staffing predictively, let you A/B test displays or furniture arrangements, check what rooms are most popular during different parts of the day or year, and much more. Why just collect statistics when you can use them to actively make your library better for both staff and patrons? Come have a discussion with us about these issues and let us know what you’d like to see from the Measure the Future project (

    Rebekkah Smith Aldrich-Sustainable Thinking

    Sunday, January 10, 12:30pm-1:30pm

    Libraries must take an active, visible role in building sustainable, resilient and regenerative communities. Our future depends on it. We will explore how to infuse the core value of sustainability into everything we do, taking a "whole systems approach" to leading our libraries into the future and building our base of support among those we serve along the way.

  • Committee Meetings

    Committee meetings are held during Midwinter to do the business of the association. Some meetings will be listed "closed" when they are discussing private information, but most meetings are open to any attendee, and are often a good way to learn about the business of ALA and its divisions.

  • Unconference and Library Camp

    Informal opportunities to ask questions, explore options, make recommendations, examine ideas, and reflect on the implications of updates, conversations, and what you’ve learned at the conference. The growing participant-guided Unconference takes place on Friday, 9:00am -12:00pm and brings the unstructured conversations people often have between conference sessions into the conference itself. Unconferences are organized by the crowd, and are about sharing the knowledge and passion we have for our profession and taking what we learn into the world to make a difference. Round out your experience at the end-of-conference Library Camp on Monday. Attendees will get together to talk about anything library- or conference-related with a focus on reflecting on what inspired you at the conference. Come prepared to share your experiences and/or lead an informal discussion on a topic of your choice. Everyone is welcome!

  • Networking Uncommons

    Make the connections you want at the Networking Uncommons space in the Convention Center. It’s a dedicated area where you can gather in small groups to have a quick meeting, polish your presentation, follow up on a discussion, or just recharge your batteries. The area features tables, chairs, free convention center wifi, and a projector and screen, as well as some gadgets in case you want to push content out in real-time. Sign up for a time slot if you want to plan ahead—otherwise just show up. During open times, the area is up for grabs, although it's big enough that multiple groups can use it at once, even when someone has scheduled something. You can also check the topics each day to see what interests you.

    Click here to learn more about the Networking Uncommons!

  • Think Fit @ ALA

    Sustainability and ‘green’ efforts are increasing throughout the events and hospitality industry. ‘Thinking Fit’ by minimizing our negative impact on the environment, ALA is highlighting some of the Midwinter 2016 initiatives and letting you know how you can help. Keep and eye out for the environmental friendly activities of ALA, our vendors, and other partners in coordination with the Midwinter Meeting 2016.


  • ALA Store

    Check out the ALA Store! It will be located near the Networking Uncommons in the North Lobby of the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center.

    ALA Store hours:

    Friday, January 8           12:00 PM – 5:30 PM

    Saturday, January 9       8:30 AM – 5:00 PM

    Sunday, January 10       8:30 AM – 5:00 PM

    Monday, January 11      9:00 AM – 2:00 PM