2020 Annual Conference

CANCELED: 2020 Connecticut Library Association Annual Conference

Sunday, April 26- Tuesday, April 28, 2020

at the Mystic Marriott Resort & Spa, Groton, CT


We have made the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 CLA Annual Conference.

In light of the current situation with COVID-19, including recommendations from the CDC to cancel large events, and the Governor's most recent Executive Order, we believe this is the only responsible course of action. Your health and safety are our top priority, and we believe that canceling the conference is the best option to keep our colleagues and our communities safe.

This is an unprecedented situation, so we are working to make the necessary arrangements and adjustments. We will also be meeting with next year's conference committee to discuss plans for the 2021 Conference.

  • All conference attendees will be refunded their registration fees.    
  • All speakers will be refunded for their registration fees.  
  • All exhibitors and sponsors will be refunded.  
  • Everyone should expect to see their refunds by the end of March, if not sooner.
  • All refunds will be issued in the same format as the original payment.
  • Please note, due to our membership software, you may receive several automated emails regarding the refund— it is a multi-step process and we cannot turn off these automatic notifications. We apologize for the inconvenience.
  • If you have questions regarding your refund, please email [email protected] or call 860.346.2444. 


  • Due to the unpredictable nature of this crisis, we are unable to reschedule the event. We feel the situation is too uncertain to be able to project out into May or June. We discussed moving the conference to the fall, but CLA is unable to sustain two Annual Conferences in one fiscal year.


  • As of right now, we would recommend that you submit your proposals again next year for the 2021 Conference.


  • If you booked as part of the CLA Room Block with the hotel, those rooms will be released and you will not be charged.


  • Thanks to those of you who are individual or institutional members of CLA. Memberships, which help support CLA as an organization, will NOT be refunded.
We thank you for your patience and understanding during this challenging and uncertain time.

This year we are offering a special Storytime School intensive program from Sunday afternoon, April 26 - Tuesday, April 28, facilitated by Kari Ann St. Jean, Children's and Teen Services Manager at Avon Public Library.

The Storytime School intensive program at CLA’s Annual Conference in Mystic, CT in 2020, will feature an experiential learning environment with hands on participation and observation for early career professionals. During this 2 ½ day intensive school, novice children’s staff will learn the practicality of storytime design, planning and execution. Together we will build a memorable and welcoming environment which supports exploration, confidence and the art of storytime. 

Registration for Storytime School will open at the same time as the general conference registration, and space is limited! For more information, check out our flyer.

Monday Keynote: Lance Werner

"Better Libraries and Stronger Communities Through Kindness, Empathy and Love"

We are pleased to announce that Lance Werner will be our keynote speaker on Monday, April 27, 2020. Lance has served as Executive Director for Kent District Library since 2011. He received a juris doctorate degree from Michigan State University’s College of Law and his master’s degree in Library Science from Wayne State University (WSU). In 2018 he was chosen as Library Journal’s Librarian of the Year, and in years past he was the recipient of the Joey Rodger Leadership Award from the Urban Libraries Council, Librarian of the Year Award from the Michigan Library Association (MLA), the WSU Distinguished Alumni award, and Library Journal’s Mover and Shaker Award. Lance is currently involved in the ALA Policy Corps, WSU’s Capital Campaign, MLA’s Legislative Committee, and recently graduated from Michigan Political Leadership Course.





Monday Lunch Speaker: Nancy Pearl

"The Pleasures and Perils of a Life of Reading" & Book Signing

Nancy Pearl, author and host of the TV show, Book Lust, will discuss her forthcoming book, The Writer’s Library, a moving, joyful, and insightful collection of conversations with today's living literary legends including Viet Thanh Nguyen, Michael Chabon, Louise Erdrich, T.C. Boyle, Richard Ford, and many others. The authors share the books that changed their lives, made them think, and brought them joy.

Nancy Pearl will be signing copies of The Writer’s Library, a collection of interviews with well-known authors, written with playwright Jeff Schwager, which will be published by HarperOne in September 2020.



Tuesday Keynote: Rebekkah Smith Aldrich

"What the World Needs Now"

Rebekkah Smith Aldrich (MLS, LEED AP) is the Executive Director of the Mid-Hudson Library System. Rebekkah currently serves as the co-chair of the American Library Association's (ALA) Special Task Force on Sustainability, as an advisory board member for the ALA Center for the Future of Libraries, and is the co-founder of both the ALA Sustainability Round Table and the New York Library Association's Sustainability Initiative. A frequent international speaker on the topic of libraries and sustainability, Rebekkah is the author of Sustainable Thinking: Ensuring Your Library's Future in an Uncertain World and Resilience, part of the Library Futures Series from ALA Editions. Learn more about Rebekkah at http://SustainableLibraries.org


2020 Conference Co-Chair 2020 Conference Co-Chair
Stephanie Prato Christopher Carney
[email protected] [email protected]
Head of Children's Services, Simsbury Public Library Adult Services Librarian, Simsbury Public Library


Thank you to our Sponsors!

Diamond Level Sponsor - TSKP Studio Diamond Level Sponsor - Capira
https://tskp.com/ https://www.capiratech.com/
Diamond Level Sponsor - Downes Construction Company Diamond Level Sponsor - University of Rhode Island
http://www.downesco.com/ https://www.uri.edu/


Storytime School Sponsor - Rainbow Book Company/ Children's Plus Inc.
Children’s Plus, Inc: www.childrensplusinc.com
Rainbow: www.rainbowbookcompany.com
Happy Hour Sponsor - Apple Books
Arthur Zarzycki - Apple Books Representative in CT.
Phone # 848-391-2181
Happy Hour Event Sponsor - Mobile Mini Golf
YA Awards Reception Sponsor - Nutmeg Book Award Committee
Monday Afternoon Break - EBSCO
Website: www.EBSCO.com
E-mail address: [email protected]