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American Library Association Annual Conference & Exhibition 2019: A Recap

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The American Library Association welcomed librarians, authors, publishers, business professionals, educators and students to this year’s annual conference held in Washington, D.C. Among the attendees was Emily Parenti, Content Marketing Coordinator here at IPG. Below, Emily shares her thoughts on what continues to make ALA such a success.

What was your primary objective for attending and what were you most excited for?

My job was to help run IPG’s booth—answering questions about the many books we had on display, promoting our author signings, and determining how IPG could help meet a library’s specific needs. Going into the show, I was most excited to interact with the librarians, who were as kind, knowledgeable, and fun as everyone promised they would be.

How was this year’s show different from others you’ve been to in the past?

This was my first time working a large trade show! But from the discussions I had with both exhibitors and attendees, I learned that ALA Annual is becoming one of the most important book industry gatherings. While other large shows are seeing a decrease in participation, even from Big Five publishers, ALA is only getting larger and more vibrant.

What would you like to see differently next year, either on the part of the show or of IPG?

Some of the best interactions I had happened during the giveaways and signings we held in our booth, so I’d love to see more of both.

What was the show’s biggest success, in your opinion?

I think ALA’s greatest strength and success is getting books into the hands of librarians that could really use them. Though there’s tons of ARC-grabbing for personal reading purposes (which is still valuable marketing for publishers), it was great to hear librarians talk about how well our titles would circulate, or how badly they needed specific content to fill a void in their collection.

What was your main takeaway?

My main takeaway is that librarians really should run the world. We had so many thoughtful, generous, bookish conversations with these folks, who are true community advocates in addition to ideal readers. I’m so glad IPG puts as much energy into supporting this market as we put into the retail space.






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