- Hotel & Travel
- Exhibit & Sponsor
- General Information
- Hotel & Travel
- Exhibit & Sponsor
- General Information
2020 Conference Information A-Z & Frequently Asked Questions
ADA: The Texas Library Association wishes to take any steps required to ensure that no individual with a disability is excluded, denied services, segregated, or otherwise treated differently due to the absence of auxiliary aids and services identified in the Americans with Disabilities Act. If any such services are necessary in order for you to participate in the TLA Conference, we will provide you the name of a preferred vendor so you are able to make scooter arrangements. See SCOOTERS. Attendees who are unable to carry large loads of books or materials must present a written doctors note onsite to the Exhibit Hall Entrance Badge Checkers in order to use a wheeled cart in the exhibit hall. Persons who need specially designed or equipped hotel rooms should indicate all requirements on the housing request form.
AIRPORTS: Houston has two major airports: George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) and William P. Hobby Airport (HOU). Transportation options from the airport include RideShare (Get Me, GreenLink, Lyft, Uber, Wingz), Taxi, Bus (METRO bus 102 for IAH and METRO bus 40 for HOU), or SuperShuttle.
AISLE BY AISLE COUPON BOOK: Will be available on site at attendee registration.
ASSISTANCE: If you need assistance while attending the conference, consult a conference planner wearing a rosette button, stop by the Information Counter in Exhibit Hall E, or visit one of the Meetings Room Assistance Counters located near the meeting rooms at the convention center.
AUTHORS AREA: Obtain autographs from your favorite author(s) at the Authors Area in the TLA Exhibit Hall. Conferees may bring up to five (5) items to be signed per author, per visit. The Authors Area and book signing schedules will be available on the TLA website starting in February. Authors may also be allowed to sign in the exhibit booth, at the discretion of the Authors Area Committee.
AWARDS: See Texas Bluebonnet Award
BAG CHECK: For a nominal fee, bags may be held at the bag check area located in Exhibit Hall E. Rent-a-Box hours : TBD
NOTE: To check in wheeled bags, enter in Exhibit Hall E entrance.
BUSINESS CENTER: See Connection Corner
CAR RENTAL: Several car rental companies have locations in Houston, including traditional car rental companies and Car2Go.
CAREER DEVELOPMENT CENTER: Located in Hall E. You do not have to be a registered conferee to use or attend any programming located in the Career Development Center.
COLLABORATION SPACE: The Collaboration Space, located in the Exhibit Hall, is designed to promote facilitated discussions and continued conversations regarding session topics.
COMPUTERS: Computers (with Internet connections) and printers will be available in Connection Corner in Hall E and can be used during registration hours for official TLA business, such as booking your 2021 Conference hotel room.
CONFERENCE EVALUATION: The online Post-Conference Survey will be sent to all conference attendees after the conference or it can be accessed on the conference mobile app under “Survey”. We appreciate your feedback!
Connection Corner hours: TBD
CONTINUING PROFESSIONAL EDUCATION CREDIT: CPE credit will be available for school and public librarians needing to meet certification requirements from the State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) and the Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC). The conference program will list the number of SBEC/TSLAC CE hours available for each individual educational session. Conference attendees can print their own certificates after conference by accessing the TLA website and recording the programs they attended. SBEC has approved TLA as a continuing education provider for educator certification. TLA’s provider number is 500383. Certificates will be available to print by April 2020.
DISASTER RELIEF RAFFLE: The annual art raffle, held during Friday’s General Session II, benefits the Texas Library Disaster Relief Fund. You could be the lucky winner! Take a chance on art and help improve the chances of recovery for Texas libraries.
EXHIBITS: Located in Halls D & E of the convention center, the exhibit hall offers a variety of new and innovative products and services. The 2020 Exhibits Directory will be included in the spring Texas Library Journal. See the current list here.
Exhibit hours: TBD
Also located in the exhibit hall are the Authors Area, Exhibit Hall Meeting Rooms, Bag Check (see Bag Check above), and Postal Service (see Shipping Service below).
EXHIBIT HALL REGULATIONS: No wheels are allowed in the exhibit hall. The use of luggage carts, wheeled bags, or unoccupied baby strollers is prohibited in the exhibit hall. No carts, including those provided by exhibitors, will be allowed, unless a doctor’s note is presented to the exhibit hall entrance badge checkers near the Hall 4 entrance. The TLA Executive Board and staff thank you for your cooperation as we ensure the safety and enjoyment of all individuals in the exhibit hall. To check in wheeled bags, enter in Exhibit Hall 4 entrance.
FIRST AID: In case of an emergency, call 911. For minor first aid needs, the convention center Department First Aid Room is located on the second level.
FOOD: There are several restaurants within walking distance of the convention center. Some local favorites are: Grotto Downtown, The Grove, Xochi, and Hearsay on the Green. For exclusive discounts on bars and restaurants, visit experience.visithouston.com/TLA2020
GENDER NEUTRAL/ FAMILY ACCESS RESTROOMS: The City of Houston requires that all single-user restrooms in any commercial facilities remain gender neutral.
HANDOUTS: In an effort to help the environment and eliminate the problem of never having enough handouts available, the TLA staff will not prepare paper handouts for conference sessions. Program speakers have been encouraged to prepare electronic handouts and submit them to the TLA office for posting on the conference mobile app. Handouts will be added as they are received. Attendees will be able to access the program/session handouts before, during or after the conference.
HOTEL RESERVATIONS: TLA has contracted with several downtown hotels near the convention center to accommodate conferees. Book your room through our official hotel provider, onPeak. Detailed information on hotels, rates, room reservations, and locations are included on the conference website.
HOUSING: A representative from onPeak, TLA’s official housing management company, will be located in Connection Corner in Hall E during registration hours to answer hotel questions. Please notify an onPeak representative of any housing issues ON SITE so they can be addressed and resolved.
REMEMBER to reserve your hotel in Connection Corner for the TLA 2021 Conference in San Antonio, April 20-23.
IMPORTANT TLA CONFERENCE PHONE NUMBERS: The main TLA conference phone number is TBD located at the Information Counter in Registration Area (Hall E). Messages left for conference attendees will be posted on the message board. Paging is not available within the convention center.
TLA Conference Information (main conference phone number): TBD
INNOVATION LAB AND MAKER PLAYGROUND: A makerspace fit for librarians is on the schedule and will be located in Exhibit Hall D & E.
Innovation Lab hours: TBD
INTERNET ACCESS ( in Connection Corner): Internet access will be available in Connection Corner located in Hall E. ADA access is available. Please limit the number of devices connected to WiFi to help avoid overloading the bandwidth.
Connection Corner hours: TBD
LACTATION ROOM: Location TBD. Please visit the Conference Manager’s desk for directions onsite.
LOCAL INFORMATION/PHONE NUMBERS:
- Airports: IAH –George Bush Intercontinental and HOU –William P. Hobby
- George R. Brown Convention Center: 713-853-8000
- Visit Houston: 713-853-8100
- Houston Public Library Contact Information
- Information and Reference: 832-393-1313
- Hours and Locations Recording:
- Text a Librarian:
- onPeak – TLA Conference Housing: 800-243-1205
- Texas Library Association Headquarters (Austin):
- fax 512-328-8852;
LOST AND FOUND: Items may be turned in or claimed at the Information/Lost and Found Counter in Hall D. After conference, a general notice of unclaimed items will be published in the TLACast newsletter. Please call the TLA office at 512-328-1518 to inquire about a lost item after the conference. Items will be held for one month after publication.
LUGGAGE CARTS: No wheels are allowed in the Exhibit Hall; see Exhibit Hall Regulations for details.
MEAL FUNCTIONS: Tickets for all conference meal functions must be purchased in advance as part of the conference preregistration process. While meal function tickets must be purchased in advance, conference registration is not required to attend these events. Tickets will not be sold onsite. Encourage friends, family, and colleagues to join you to hear a favorite author. Ticket prices are based on the cost of menu selections, catering service charges, room set-up charges, speaker fees, and other expenses. Please let us know about any special dietary meals (Vegan, Vegetarian, Gluten Free, Lactose Free) during the registration process.
MESSAGE CENTER: Located in Hall D. Check for both personal messages and official announcements/updates or leave messages for other attendees.
MOBILE APP: The conference mobile app is on multiple mobile platforms; go to your provider’s app store and search ‘Texas Library Association’. This application enables attendees with a web-enabled phone or other mobile device to access their schedules while on the go and receive real-time updates to sessions and author events. It will also offer Twitter, exhibitor information, show documents, and speaker content. Direct access from the web is also available.
OPEN MEETINGS: Unless otherwise noted in the Conference Program, all meetings are open to all registered participants. Conference participants may attend any unit meeting regardless of their own unit membership.
PARKING: Directions to the convention center and parking information can be found online.
PLACES TO SEE: Visit Houston offers lists of places to see and things to do in the downtown Houston area. The Houston Chronicle also has some great recommendations on things to see and places to eat. Visit experience.visithouston.com/TLA2020 and use the “Show Your Badge” Pass at participating locations for exclusive discounts.
PREREGISTRATION DEADLINE: TBD
PRESS /PUBLICITY: For news and informational contributions, which will be considered for inclusion in daily updates via social media and the TLA website, please stop by the Information Counter located in Hall E.
RECHARGE LOUNGE: The TLA Recharge Zone is located in the Exhibit Hall.
REGISTRATION: The Conference Registration Area is located in Hall E. A 2020 registration badge is required to attend all Conference events.
Hours for Registration are: TBD
NOTE: TLA 2020 will be cashless. We’ll accept credit, debit, or checks at on-site registration and in the TLA Store.
RESTAURANT & LOCAL CITY INFORMATION: Visit Houston offers lists of places to see and things to do in the downtown Houston area. For exclusive discounts and offers, go to experience.visithouston.com/TLA2020 and use the “Show Your Badge” Pass.
SAFETY: Report damage to or theft of your personal property or vehicle to the Information/Lost and Found Counter in Hall D. For your own protection, especially at night, please walk or ride with a friend. Walking at night between the convention center and distant hotels is not recommended. Check with your hotel about procedures for securing your valuables. Carefully read the fire-safety information furnished by your hotel.
SESSION PREFERENCE FORMS: TLA does not require conference attendees to register for each session they wish to attend. However, in order to make the best determination for the appropriate room size for each program, please download the TLA app and add any programs you are interested in to your “My Schedule”.
Don’t take a chance on missing out on an anticipated program because the room is full. Download the app, create your schedule, and encourage your colleagues to do the same!
SCOOTERS: If you anticipate needing help getting around the George R. Brown Convention Center, there will be a limited number of scooters available by advance reservation only. To reserve a scooter please email : Contact info TBD
SHIPPING SERVICE: Located via Hall entrance, UPS will provide packing, shipping, bag check, and rent-a-box services on site. UPS Store/ Rent-a-Box hours are as follows: TBD
NOTE: To check in wheeled bags, enter in Exhibit Hall entrance.
SHUTTLE BUS SERVICE:
SMOKING: No smoking is permitted in any area of the convention center.
SPECIAL EVENTS: More information coming soon.
TLA STORE: Located in Hall E. Conference memorabilia and other TLA merchandise will be available for purchase. Credit cards, debit cards, and checks will be accepted; unfortunately we are not able to accept cash or purchase orders at the store.
TLA Store hours: TBD
TLA WORKROOM: Photocopying services are available in Connection Corner, located in Hall D, for TLA Unit business only. See “Connection Corner”
TRANSPORTATION: GreenLink is a complimentary downtown shuttle service. Click here for route details.
VOLUNTEER COUNTER: Located in Hall E. Conferees who have registered as volunteers, or who would like to volunteer, should check in here.
VOLUNTEERS: Volunteers are needed to assist the Local Arrangements Committees in several areas during the 2019 annual conference. If you’re interested, complete and return the volunteer form linked from the conference homepage. Volunteers should be willing to serve at least two hours during the annual conference. While librarians must be registered for the conference, paraprofessionals and support staff who are not registered for the annual conference will receive a complimentary exhibits-only pass for four hours of volunteer service.
Why is the price listed on the online form different from the price on the paper registration form?
Registrations submitted online save TLA time and labor. We want to pass those savings on to our attendees, so we offer a discount to those who register online. The PDF of our mail-in registration form is available here.
What does my general registration include?
General Registration includes: four days of business meetings, programs, and exhibits Tuesday – Thursday, two General Sessions, Exhibit Hall Grand Opening on Tuesday, March 24, and the President’s All-Conference Party. Meals are not included.
Can I register online if I am paying by check?
You can register online with an electronic check or credit card payment only. Paper checks are to be mailed with the mail-in form available on our conference registration page.
How can I get a receipt for my registration?
The official receipt will be attached to your badge when you pick it up at conference. If you register online, there will be a printable confirmation page which includes the payment information at the end of the registration process. You will also receive a confirmation email with registration details.
Is there an early-bird discount?
There is no early-bird discount this year, only an online-registration discount. There is a discount for registering in advance of the conference instead of on-site.
What are my payment options?
Online registration requires payment with a credit card or electronic check. We accept mailed registrations with checks, money orders, and credit card information. We do not accept purchase orders.
I am not a TLA member. Can I become one now and get the member rate for conference?
Yes you can! It is never too late to join TLA. Join online (quickest option) or you can print the PDF and mail in the form. Either way, you will then be eligible for the TLA member rate when you register for the conference.
I just became a TLA member and I haven’t received my member number yet. What do I do?
Fill in “0” where the form asks for your membership number. Once the membership form is fully imported into the database we will match them together.
I am a returning member. What’s my member number?
Membership numbers stay the same from year to year, your number will be the same number it was last year. If you don’t remember your number, log in to the members only section and it will be listed at the top of the main page, or give us a call and we will look it up for you!
When I log into the Members-Only section, I don’t see any way to register for conference! What’s going on?
If you have not yet renewed your TLA membership, you will not be able to access the full range of options in the members-only section. Once your renewal has been processed (it takes a few days, please be patient with us), you will be able to register for conference from the members-only section. If you’d like to register right away, you may use the non-member link to register for the conference. The registration form is the same for members and non-members.
I work as a librarian but I am also a library student. Under which category should I register?
Library employees who are TLA general members should register as general members. Employment status overrides student status. Full-time students who are TLA student members are eligible for the student rate.
I am registering several people for conference. Will I need their TLA passwords to complete their registrations?
Yes. All online registrations require the registrant to be logged into the registration system. It is not possible to register more than one person at a time.
How will I know that TLA has received my mailed in registration?
You will receive a confirmation email as soon as TLA has fully processed your registration. Please ensure that you include a unique, valid email address along with your registration, to ensure you receive this notification. Please allow a minimum of 2 weeks from the time the registration and payment are mailed to the time you receive your emailed confirmation.
Do you offer any group discounts?
Group discounts are not available for conference registration.
How can I buy an Exhibits Only pass?
Exhibits Only passes are available through the online registration process and onsite at conference.
My district is paying for my basic registration fee, but I need to pay for extra events myself. How do I add ticketed or preconference events to my registration?
You have two options:
1. You may also submit a registration form (either online or by mail) for the basic registration fee, and then add and pay for extra events separately online. To add events to an existing registration, select the Edit Registration/Add Tickets option shown next to your existing conference registration. Add any tickets to the online form and then proceed to payment. Only the balance of the new tickets will be due upon check out. Or,
2. You may fill out one registration form and mail it in with two separate payments enclosed
My employer will pay my conference registration, but won’t pay for my TLA membership. What is the benefit of joining TLA?
There are many benefits of joining TLA, and if you are coming to the conference it just makes financial sense. Conference registration for a non-member starts at $550, but online registration for a member is $295. The average membership dues plus conference registration at the member rate combined is often less than paying the non-member conference registration rate. Membership dues are based on annual income.
How do I download and log-in to the conference mobile app?
In the App Store or Google Play, search for ‘Texas Library Association’
Download the app
Log in using your TLA Members Only website credentials; i.e. your primary email address where you receive correspondence from TLA, and your unique password.
Non TLA members who register online for conference will use the primary email address and password they create when registering.
All mail-in registrants will receive their login information via email confirmation.
If you get locked out of the app, please contact the TLA office to restore access.
Do NOT re-set your password in the app or with Gather Digital.
If a user does not have an iPhone, iPad, or Android device, they can view the information on their desktop computer.
How do I get tickets for the Texas Bluebonnet Award Luncheon?
The Bluebonnet Award Author Session will be held on Thursday, March 26. You can get tickets for this event by checking the box next to “Texas Bluebonnet Award Author Session” on the pre-registration form under Section 4, Meals. You do not have to be a member or pay the conference pre-registration fee to attend this event, and you may purchase more than one ticket.
What’s the Session Preference Form?
The Session Preference Form is a tool we use to help estimate attendance at each session. You will not be committed to the sessions you indicate on this form and are free to change your mind and attend any session you choose at the conference. The information you provide will help ensure that we have enough space for each session, and that no one gets turned away by a “Meeting Room Closed – Capacity Full” sign!
How do I make housing/hotel arrangements?
Why should I book my hotel with OnPeak?
TLA has secured room blocks for attendees and exhibitors at a variety of hotels to meet all tastes and budgets. These participating hotels are providing discounted rates to you based on a guaranteed percentage of attendees staying in these official conference hotels. When you book your room with OnPeak, you will receive an immediate email acknowledgement of your reservation; peace of mind that you have a reservation at an official TLA hotel at the discounted rate; and the ability to cancel or change that reservation if needed.
When rooms are booked outside our official hotel block or you do not use OnPeak, TLA is exposed to penalties for not fulfilling our room block commitments. Please help TLA keep conference costs down by staying at the official hotels. We think you will find the increased networking opportunities, quality hotel services and amenities, and provided transportation to be worth it!
What do I do if I need to cancel my registration?
Transfers/substitutions are welcome at least five (5) days prior to the date of the event. Cancellations (via email) received at the TLA office five (5) business days prior to the event will receive a refund – minus a 20% percent handling fee. Mail in cancellations are accepted and must be postmarked at least five (5) business days before the event. If you do not cancel or transfer prior to five (5) business days before the event, the entire fee is non-refundable. Refunds may take up to 10 business days following an event to process. We cannot offer refunds for Exhibits Only badges or Daily Fees. Refunds are processed after the conference.
What do I do if I need to cancel my registration Annual Education Package / Annual Education PLUS package?
To cancel a registration, send a refund request in writing directed to email@example.com no later than the Advance Registration deadline (3/6/2020). All conference registration cancellations are subject to a $50.00 cancellation fee. In addition, for the Education Packages, only the fees associated with Annual Conference are eligible for refund. Fees associated with the membership portion of the package are not refundable. Refunds will not be given for any registrations cancelled after March 17, 2020. Refunds are processed after the conference.
What do I do if I need to cancel a ticketed event?
To cancel a ticketed event, send a request in writing directed to firstname.lastname@example.org no later than the preregistration deadline (3/17/20). Refunds will not be given for ticketed events cancelled after the preregistration deadline. Refunds will not be given for any registrations cancelled after March 17, 2020. Refunds are processed after the conference.
What do I do if I need to cancel an exhibits only pass?
Exhibits only pass purchases are non-refundable.
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