ARLIS/NA President Laura Schwartz

Dear Colleagues:

We regret to inform you that ARLIS/NA will not be holding its 48th Annual Conference in St. Louis, MO next month because of the serious health risks posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Please be assured that I appreciate your patience while we worked through the decision-making process. 

The conference planners and ARLIS/NA Executive Board hoped that the situation would improve, but restrictions on travel, CDC’s recommendations to avoid congregating in large groups, and the attendance limits in place at Washington University and Saint Louis University -- where many of our events were to be held – meant that proceeding with the conference as planned would be both irresponsible and impractical.  The health and safety of our membership and the population at large is of the utmost importance. 

Over the next couple of weeks we will be issuing full refunds to everyone who has already registered.  Please cancel your hotel reservation.  If you have received a travel award, we will be in touch on how to handle the award moving forward. 

This will be a substantial financial burden for the Society.  If you choose to donate your refund to ARLIS/NA, it would be very much appreciated.  If you do want to donate, please get in touch with This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. directly.

I want to thank the conference planning committee and the co-chairs who planned what would have been an excellent conference.  Although we were excited to show off St. Louis,  we are considering how to share the content that presenters and moderators have developed; more on that soon.

If you have questions, please ask a member of the executive board, a member of the conference planning advisory committee, or our Executive Director, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  We are here to answer your questions.

Be well.  --Laura

Laura Schwartz




On behalf of the Art Libraries Society of North America (ARLIS/NA) Executive Board and the St. Louis conference planning team, I am excited to invite you to participate in the 48th Annual Conference of the Art Libraries Society of North America in St. Louis, Missouri from Monday, April 20 – Friday April 24, 2020.

Our theme Preserve, Enhance, Reimagine will highlight how art information professionals use, reflect, and build upon our core values and practices to inform our future.  The conference will showcase adaptive reuse, architectural preservation, and social change and activism in the arts, all prevalent in St. Louis. As the preeminent event for our international organization of art and visual information professionals, we welcome and encourage collaboration, innovation, and knowledge creation from diverse perspectives. Our program co-chairs This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and Rina Vecchiola are working with moderators and presenters to develop thoughtful programming including panels, workshops, lightning talks, posters, and discussion groups. This year our programming is tied to Core Competencies and we are featuring learning tracks for the second year. Local Arrangement chairs This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., are planning special events designed to support networking and a collaborative community for all ARLIS/NA stakeholders.
Highlights of the conference include:

  • The historic conference hotel The Chase Park Plaza Royal Sonesta St. Louis in the pedestrian-friendly Central West End and across from Forest Park.
  • Art and architecture of St. Louis including the Welcome Party at the St. Louis Art Museum (SLAM) and a Closing Party at the City Museum. Our convocation is walking distance from the hotel on the Washington University School of Medicine campus and our reception will be on the breathtaking Rooftop Ballroom of the hotel.
  • Tours of the Gateway Arch and the Cahokia Mounds will not disappoint.
  • The Central West End is home to over 75 bars, restaurants, galleries, shops, and attractions.

From compelling sessions to valuable workshops to inspiring art and architecture, this will be a conference not to be missed.  Enjoyable social gatherings, a mix of cultural offerings, and a vibrant and diverse city, will make for an exciting and unforgettable conference.
I look forward to seeing you!

Laura Schwartz
ARLIS/NA President


Tap into the largest and strongest network of art information professionals. Take advantage of the Society's programming and publications, professional development opportunities, networking resources, and forum for thought-provoking discourse.


Contact Nancy Short, Executive Director
(414) 908-4954 x 136