The ALA web site should have the announcement that the ALA Annual Conference will be held in New Orleans. [Of course Midwinter is still in San Antonio.]
This was not an easy decision. However, the economic impact of an ALA Conference is incredible. The Association itself spends a couple million dollars. The economic impact can be 25 times that. For last year in Chicago, I heard that the impact was about $50 million. We saw that also with the Toronto conference. ALA was the first major conference after the SARS scare. I know that the City was incredibly grateful to see librarians arrive! I expect that New Orleans will be the same.
ALA staff have made several trips to the City. The level of monitoring for mold is incredible. It is probably safer to breathe the air there than it is here, especially after the rain!
I am looking forward to going back to New Orleans. I hope that the charm is still there. Hearing that the Cafe du Monde had re-opened reminded me of how much I yearn for a cafe au lait and beignets.