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While the attendance at the American Library Association (ALA) Midwinter Meeting in Boston last month was some 2500 below that in Philadelphia in 2008, the total--8,526 registrants and 2,569 exhibitors--was ahead of the Denver show last year and helped ALA meet 98 percent of its conference budget. While the show floor was slow, the result was not unexpected. (For more Midwinter coverage, see InfoTech, p. 18, and bit.ly/5BIdJZ.)
ALA treasurer Rod Hersberger, who reported to Council and the Executive Board, estimated that membership and conference/meeting attendance revenue will remain steady this year but perhaps not in 2011, where the Midwinter Meeting will be in San Diego and annual conference in New Orleans. In the next two years, the economic strains felt by libraries may affect revenue from conference attendance, membership, publishing, and products and services in FY12.
Jim Neal, chair of ALA's Budget Analysis and Review Committee (BARC), said a preliminary contingency plan has been discussed to meet a 2010 budget shortfall of $1.1 …