After careful consideration, we have decided to cancel the OCLC Library Futures Conference (EMEARC 2020), which was scheduled to take place on 2-5 March in Vienna, Austria. Our primary goal is to help ensure the safety and health of conference participants and staff.
The escalation of the COVID-19 coronavirus in Asia and Europe has resulted in a situation that is changing rapidly and difficult to predict from day to day. Several speakers and attendees have advised us this week that they have been forced to cancel their plans to attend or are restricted from traveling. After careful analysis of the news, updates, and data provided by agencies like the World Health Organization (WHO), we have decided that the best course of action is to cancel the event.
We take our duty of care to members, speakers, and staff very seriously. With participants scheduled from 27 countries, we believe the decision to cancel is advisable and prudent. We also know that libraries and librarians are essential to preparedness as governments, universities, schools, and communities grapple with this serious health threat. We will be assessing library roles in the coming days and will share pertinent information accordingly.
OCLC will proactively reimburse conference registration fees for registered participants.
We sincerely hope to see you at an OCLC event soon and wish you all safety and health.