Monday, May 29, 2006

Las Vegas Told ALA to Stay Away?

This story was told to me years ago by an older librarian. I mentioned that the American Library Association (ALA) annual conference always seemed to be held in the same handful of cities. I wondered why that was, and why Las Vegas, an extremely popular destination, wasn't on the future schedule.

He said there were two reasons. The first is that because of the conference's large number of attendees, not that many cities can handle it.

But about Vegas in particular, he said after ALA was in Vegas the last time, they received some complaints from the Vegas tourism people. They said the librarians did nothing but attend the conference. They didn't gamble in the casinos, they didn't go to the shows, they never opened their wallets.

In short, the librarians didn't do what everyone knows tourists are expected to do in Vegas.

So the Vegas people said: ALA, don't come back. We don't want you.

The last time ALA was held in Las Vegas was in 1973. But it is now on the upcoming schedule to be held there in 2014. 41 years! I'll note here that the Special Libraries Association (SLA) annual conference has never been held in Vegas.

In 1973, did the Vegas people tell ALA to stay away? Can anyone confirm or refute the older librarian's story?

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1 comment:

waltc said...

That was two years before I started attending ALA, but I've heard it the other way around: Conference attendees bemoaned the weather and transportation to such an extent that ALA took LV off the list--and, since then, LV's convention facilities are booked so many years ahead of time that it was difficult to get back on. But that's all second hand: I wasn't there. (Of course, most of what makes Las Vegas Las Vegas wasn't there back then either...)