As I write this, I realize most of us have been living in this new normal for almost a month now. I know this is a difficult time for us all, and I want to thank you for your patience, understanding, and flexibility with both the Executive Board and the Association; we know that these are uncertain and stressful times.
When I accepted the nomination for Vice-President/President Elect, I knew the position would come with some challenges. However, no one could have foreseen a challenge such as a global health pandemic and its worldwide impact. Coronavirus (COVID-19) has not only changed our daily work lives, but also our home lives. The COVID-19 situation has also impacted our institutions’ budgets and our travel policies.
While AALL has already made changes to several programs and events by going virtual or by postponing them, at this point, the AALL Annual Meeting & Conference currently planned for mid-July is scheduled to take place, although we are watching this fluid situation very carefully. We are aware that many members have been impacted by travel restrictions and some may not want to attend the Conference for many other reasons. We will take these limitations into account with any decision we make.
I want to assure you that AALL is looking at all of its options and is working with its legal counsel to have all AALL Annual Meeting contracts reviewed. We will also be sending out a survey later this week to see how COVID-19 has impacted you and your organization. As a Board and as an Association, the health and safety of our members and meeting attendees are our top priority and will continue to guide us in our decision making. You are the most important component of AALL. No matter what decision is made, we know it may be frustrating for some. Many of you have worked and prepared programs, posters, and other learning activities that make AALL strong and vibrant. We value that and hope you will continue to contribute.
We realize that waiting leaves room for more uncertainty, but it is the more prudent option right now for the Association as a whole. A decision to cancel or proceed with the AALL Annual Meeting will impact our members’ programs, the 2020 award recipients, and our partners, as well as the Association for years to come. These are difficult times, but with your help, we will get through this together.
We will continue to monitor the ever-changing COVID-19 situation and any updates or additional resources will be found on our COVID-19 Updates and Resources page. AALL staff remains available to assist you during this time. We are #AALLin this together. If you have questions, please contact AALL’s Headquarters Office at 312.939.4764.