The annual meeting for the Music Library Association in 2022 will now be completely virtual. The following is a message from the MLA Board President, Liza Vick, that was posted on the association’s email list on January 22, 2022.
Dear MLA Colleagues,
Thank you for your responses to our recent conference registrations polling. I am sure you are eagerly awaiting a status update for the 2022 annual meeting on March 2-6 (slated for Salt Lake City). The board, the 2022 annual meeting task force, the convention managers, and program chair have come to a very difficult decision to move to an all-virtual format once again this year. We are sorely disappointed not to see many of you in person in Salt Lake City, but the risks of holding an in–person meeting, balanced with forecast low attendance, make a virtual conference the most responsible and equitable choice. The health and safety of our members is our highest priority. Many of us have limited travel funding, limited staffing and coverage, and other related concerns, not least of which are the strain on healthcare systems and the virus spreading to vulnerable populations.
I know that we were all yearning for the opportunity to meet in person and were hopeful, and now the Omicron variant has interfered with our plans. We anticipate planning for hybrid once again, in 2023 (with the hope to be in person). However, the good news is that since we hosted a successful virtual MLA/TLA 2021 meeting, we know that we’ll have another rewarding and successful MLA 2022. A town hall is scheduled for February 3rd (2-3:30 pm EST, 1-2:30 pm CST, 12-1:30 pm MST, 11 am-12:30 pm PST). The topics will be the new strategic plan rollout and the upcoming conference (with a Q&A). Please join us – details forthcoming.
Financial implications: thanks to the wise foresight of previous boards and presidents, our budget can sustain the substantial financial penalties associated with in-person cancellation during the pandemic. Once we enter the endemic stage, hybrid planning will hopefully become more sustainable. We do encourage donations to offset the financial penalties if you are able (information forthcoming).
If you have registered for in-person attendance, kindly be patient and partial refund arrangements will be forthcoming – you can expect to hear from our Chief Financial Officers and Business Office during the coming weeks (you do not need to change your registration status). Program schedule will remain largely stable but chair Peter Shirts will be in touch with presenters about logistics if there are any changes to your session. Plans are underway for social events (wait for news from our convention managers).
In future years, the MLA board and program teams will focus on hybrid conference planning and on (potentially) smaller venues that can provide the enriching conference experience we’ve all come to cherish.
On a personal note, I will miss seeing all of you in person, but know that we will have another vibrant online conference in March, 2022.
Liza Vick (on behalf of the Board of Directors and the convention planning teams)
President, Music Library Association