Atla Annual 2020 and Concerns About the Coronavirus (COVID-19)
March 23, 2020
The 2020 Institute for International Theological Librarians scheduled to be held in June in conjunction with Atla Annual 2020 in Detroit, Michigan, has been canceled.
Atla staff has been closely monitoring the worldwide COVID-19 situation. A number of countries, including the U.S., have placed various restrictions on cross-border travel. Some U.S. embassies have been closed or are restricting their activities to emergency visa applications only. Some countries allow entry but have quarantine requirements up to 14 days after arrival. These worldwide conditions are changing daily.
Atla’s first concern is for the health and safety of our invited international members and guests at our annual conference. Therefore, after consultation with the International Theological Librarianship Education (ITLE) Task Force Chair Kelly Campbell, Atla has decided to cancel the Institute. The Task Force (the planning group for the Institute) will be meeting virtually at the end of April to determine what our future plans will be for another Institute.
March 18, 2020
The Global Librarians Grant program for Atla Annual 2020 as well as the Conference Travel Grant program for members outside North America have been suspended effective 3/19/2020. This decision was made based on recent U.S. Presidential proclamations regarding travel to the U.S. from other countries and news reports that the U.S. Department of State is suspending routine visa services in most countries worldwide in response to challenges related to the outbreak of COVID-19.
All previously awarded Global Libraries and Conference Travel grants have been rescinded and we will no longer be reviewing or accepting applications for either grant program from members outside North America. Also, we will not be providing invitation letters to support visa applications to attend Atla Annual 2020 at this time.
March 13, 2020
The Atla Annual 2020 schedule will be posted on Sched later this March. We are taking all developments concerning the coronavirus (COVID-19) very seriously and are closely monitoring the situation. There are no plans to postpone or cancel Atla Annual 2020 at this time.
We invite you to see the great and innovative sessions that have been planned by the Conference Committee and your colleagues when they are available later this March.
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March 5, 2020
Atla is monitoring the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and will continue to do so since its implications are changing daily. Our priority is the health and safety of everyone in the Atla community.
Atla Annual is scheduled to take place June 17-20, 2020 in Detroit, Michigan. Given the information we have today and the current guidance of the World Health Organization (WHO), US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Detroit Health Department (DHD), and Michigan Department of Health & Human Services (MDHHS) we are moving forward with Atla Annual 2020 as planned.
Atla staff, in consultation with the Annual Conference Committee and The Westin Book Cadillac Detroit, is discussing implementation of appropriate precautions and preparations for Atla Annual 2020 including onsite activities such as alternative greetings, cleaning practices, and emergency response procedures.
Atla Annual provides members a valuable and important opportunity to come together as a community to network and learn. It also offers attendees the chance to meet and explore solutions with vendors and other partners. Members and other contributors invest significant time and energy in creating content for the conference and we want to ensure their work is shared. We are investigating alternatives should they be needed in order to provide members and vendors with an engaging professional development opportunity this year, if the situation changes and we must consider canceling Atla Annual 2020.
We will continue to communicate and provide additional information as the situation develops.
This is a challenging time and we appreciate your understanding, your support, and your membership as we navigate this situation. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us or reach out personally.
Erica Durham, Atla Annual 2020 Chair
Denise McFarlin, Atla Meeting Specialist
Gillian Harrison Cain, Atla Director of Member Programs
Brenda Bailey-Hainer, Atla Executive Director