ARLIS/NA is happy to once again offer subsidized child care during the 2020 annual conference in St. Louis, MO. We will:
- Coordinate with a local childcare company to provide care for the three full days of the conference: April 21-23, 8am-5pm.
- Provide a suite in The Chase Park Plaza Royal Sonesta St. Louis Hotel as a secure and convenient location for the kids to stay.
- Subsidize the cost of care to make it as affordable as possible for our members
Cost for the care will be $45/day per child and parents will be free to pick up and drop off their children anytime throughout the days they have paid for. Additionally, they will be welcome to stop in to play or feed their children at any time.
Childcare at the St. Louis ARLIS/NA Conference | January 21, 2020
Stephanie Fletcher, Art Librarian Parents and Caregivers SIG Co-Moderator
ARLIS/NA is pleased to offer childcare at the annual conference in St. Louis, marking the fourth year of this important program. The introduction of conference childcare is thus far the most significant accomplishment of the Art Librarian Parents and Caregivers Special Interest Group (ALPACA) and has been generously championed and subsidized by the Executive Board since 2017. The mission of ALPACA is to support art librarians who are raising or caring for family members, and from the start, conference childcare was at the forefront of the group's efforts to make librarian-caregivers visible and valued. The childcare program encourages inclusivity at annual conferences by enabling mothers and fathers to more fully participate in conference activities. It especially supports breastfeeding mothers within ARLIS/NA by giving them the opportunity to maintain their nursing relationships with their babies despite the conference’s many demands on their time and energy.
In St. Louis, the professional childcare agency TLC Family Care will provide on-site full-time childcare on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday in a secure suite at the Chase Park Plaza Royal Sonesta St. Louis Hotel. Childcare will be available from 8:00am to 5:00pm for children aged six months to six years at the cost of $45 per day, per child. Parents are invited to drop off and pick up their children at any time during the days for which their children are registered, and they are encouraged to visit the childcare suite to play with or feed their children at any time. Childcare registration is coming soon.
As a co-moderator of ALPACA and a breastfeeding advocate, I am heavily invested in and incredibly proud of the conference childcare program. The program allowed me to attend the ARLIS/NA conference two years in a row with my daughter and nursling, Grace. Attending a conference with an infant or toddler certainly offers unique challenges, such as keeping a very active baby occupied during a bustling reception, flying solo with a baby strapped to my chest and a diaper bag over my shoulder, or conducting a meeting inconveniently scheduled during dinnertime (although I have no one to blame but myself, since I scheduled it). However, the benefits of bringing my daughter to the annual conference far outweighed the drawbacks. I was able to bond with my clingy yet adventurous toddler, breastfeed her on demand, and explore local attractions like New York’s Central Park Zoo with her. Grace made friends at every turn, which actually empowered me to meet new colleagues and network more successfully during the hectic conference days and nights.