Making The Case: Why Attend the #NYLA2020 Virtual Conference?

Building an Argument For Your Employer

Attending NYLA's Annual Virtual Conference & Trade Show offers a variety of career-enhancing opportunities - but convincing your employer for the time off or for funding to attend may prove to be a challenge. The key is to convince your employer how the Conference will make you better at your profession - and a better employee at your library.

NYLA's purpose is to lead, educate, and advocate for the advancement of the NY library community.  NYLA's Conference is held annually to provide the knowledge and tools to keep all library professionals at the cutting edge of your profession. 

How do we do this?

Education: Over 50 programs for all segments of librarianship!

Trade Show, Reimagined: A plethora of vendors and exhibitors to update you on the latest products to services for your library.

Community: Virtual networking opportunities with your peers & library community throughout the duration of the conference.

Lifelong Learning: 12 Hours Worth of Continuing Education (CE) Credits!

Professional Development: Continuing education hours are required for many types of librarians to retain certification.  Bottom line - you need these courses to keep your job.  What better way to meet these requirements than with your peers?

Draft a Plan

Set Your Intentions: Before you attend #NYLA2020 Virtual Conference & Trade Show – set a tangible goal for yourself.  Think about if there is a particular trend that you want to learn more about and focus on programs or workshops in that area.  Also, make sure to set some time aside to talk with our exhibitors 1:1 using our video chat functionality who can provide and educate you about their products or services. Write this down on a piece of paper or sticky note and keep it with you during the conference as a reminder of your intentions.

Prepare To Be Present: We know it's easy to get distracted and "Zoom'd Out" – but we implore you to really be "away" during the #NYLA2020 Conference & Trade Show to take advantage of everything we have to offer. This is about YOU and your professional development. Have a point of contact be "you" during the two days of the conference. Plan ahead to ensure that work doesn't suffer while you're "away" from your library duties for two days. 

Allow Time For Reflection: After you return from Conference, ask yourself –  How will I transform what I learned into my work? How will I use the information I learned from vendors and introduce these new tools to my fellow staff?  We recommend drafting a brief outline on how YOU plan to share the wealth of information you've acquired attending #NYLA2020 with your library and your colleagues. Keep this with you. 

Take Action: Next, we recommend organizing a brief virtual team meeting for all library staff after the Virtual Conference & Trade Show – let them know what you learned and how you can use this to enhance your library!  Assign some of these tasks out to each individual employee.  If you can share your knowledge, it will be more cost-efficient to spread it amongst your peers!

What about the cost?

With the NYLA Conference & Trade Show being all virtual this year, this has made the conference even more affordable.  But, the most important thing to remember is to register EARLY

Your All-Access Registration includes:

Important Deadlines

Registration Rates

  Early Bird (9/30) Advanced (10/31)
NYLA Members $149 $189
Non-Members $199 $239
Retired/Trustee/Student/Friend*       $49 $69

* These rates are available to NYLA members of these categories.


NYLA 2020 Virtual Annual Conference Hardship Scholarship Application

Are you interested in participating in the NYLA 2020 Virtual Conference, but have been furloughed, laid-off, or otherwise experiencing financial hardship?

NYLA is funding conference scholarships to help individuals in need.

Deadline: Monday, October 26th by 5PM

Apply for a NYLA 2020 Hardship Scholarship.


To learn more about registration rates & to register, click here.


What if my employer isn't convinced?

We get it. We know the realities of COVID-19 and how the pandemic has turned our worlds upside down and shifted our priorities. If you think you need one last nudge to make the case to your employer on why you should attend #NYLA2020 Virtual Conference & Trade Show, feel free to use this email template below.

Dear [NAME],
As you may know, the #NYLA2020 Annual Conference & Trade Show is one of the most sought-after conferences for librarians working in New York State. This year, NYLA has changed its format for the safety of its members and decided to go all virtual. This new two-day virtual event is slated to attract hundreds of librarians across the state, top tier companies in the library industry, and over 50 programs all applicable to Continuing Education credits. 

I believe that by supporting my participation at the November 5-6 virtual conference, I will further my professional development while gaining industry knowledge I can use to sharpen my skills as a librarian which will directly benefit our library and the patrons we serve.
Even more, this year’s theme, “Strengthening Our Core”  highlights the core values of librarianship which will allow me to strengthen my commitment to the profession. The virtual conference registration includes a keynote speaker, several live events, over 50 programs in eleven core value tracks, a virtual Trade Show, and many opportunities to network with other industry professionals one-on-one and in small groups.

[Highlight a particular session that would be beneficial to your professional development and your library.]

Since the conference is virtual this year, the only expense would be the registration fee which is $149 if we register before September 30th or $189 if I register after. I am willing to discuss the request and answer any questions you may have. I am confident attending the # NYLA2020 Virtual Conference and Trade Show would be critical for my growth as a librarian and beneficial for our library's growth.



We hope to "see" you this year at the #BestVIRTUALConferenceEver! If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to Jeremy at