This page will be updated as additional information becomes available. It is informed by needs and hopes shared by members of the IDEAL community. Please contact with suggestions, requests, questions, or concerns.

Why Community of Care?

IDEAL 2024 attendees are invited to co-create a community of care to support the individual and collective needs of the group at the conference. 

Artist Deanna Zandt describes Community Care as “workarounds for systems that don’t inherently support care.” A community of care is an extension of self-care to remove the burden of navigating problematic systems and harmful cultural norms from the individual. ARL staff and the IDEAL planning group recognize that facilitating a community of care is one solution for harm reduction and that there is more work to be done in order to truly disrupt, change and eliminate systems that perpetuate inequity.

Below is a non-comprehensive list of ways we hope to build and advance a community of care at IDEAL 2024.

  • Masking: ARL will provide masks and hand sanitizer in common spaces and breakout rooms. Mask wearing is encouraged throughout the conference and is one way to protect individuals with chronic illness as they enjoy the conference. Presenters were also given the opportunity to indicate if their session is "mask encouraged" or "mask expected."
  • Fragrance-Free: Attendees with allergies or sensitivities may have immediate reactions to overpowering fragrances. This guide from UCLA can help you decide how to practice being fragrance-free at IDEAL 2024.
  • Respect Boundaries: Attendees are responsible for clarifying their own and respecting their peers’ physical, mental, and emotional boundaries. This can look like standing 6 feet/2 meters away from someone while chatting during a transition period, using someone's listed pronouns, and not talking about sensitive subjects to a colleague who expressed their disinterest.
  • Keep Floor Space Clear: Keep common area and session floor space clear and free of clutter (e.g., trip hazards, sharp objects) to eliminate the risk of falling or injury for conference attendees, including service animals. This will also assist in decreasing barriers for attendees when transitioning between conference spaces in the limited time provided in the schedule. 
  • Uphold the ARL Code of Conduct: ARL staff and volunteers will be trained on the implementation of the ARL Code of Conduct—to which all attendees acknowledge and sign during registration—with the aim of ensuring IDEAL operates in support of and alignment with the vision, mission, and values of ARL. IDEAL strives to be a space that encourages critical conversations and civic dialogue without compromising physical or psychological safety.
  • Quiet Space: A Quiet Space will be offered in the Conference hotel. The space is designed to be used as needed to engage in forms of introspection (e.g., reflection, prayer, etc.) and/or to individually process the information from the conference.
  • Sensory Station: A Sensory Station will be available to attendees on the lower concourse near the Grand Ballroom. The station is meant to satisfy sensory processing needs before returning to conference activities. This space will provide grab-and-go tactile experiences for attendees.
  • Connectivity Lounge: The Connectivity Lounge will be located on the lower concourse; this space is designed for attendees to take calls, brief meetings, and engage in follow up conversations with other conference participants.

Centering Equity

We are grateful for the passion, investment, and engagement by many parties aimed at enhancing the IDEAL 2024 experience. In addition to the many volunteers supporting the planning efforts, members of the #CripLib community generously agreed to meet with a group of ARL staff and volunteers to discuss the reasoning behind some of the decisions made in the planning process and explore opportunities to increase accessibility and transparency for IDEAL attendees and the broader community. This advocacy builds on the thoughtfulness and labor that went into their open letter. Through this process, we are confident that IDEAL 2024 will be better than it would have been without these explorations—and we recognize that there is still much work to be done.


Ideally, IDEAL planning efforts would not be limited by financial constraints, particularly related to providing equitable access to attendees; unfortunately, this is not our current reality. While the planning process actively seeks ways to center equity, there are limitations within the process that result in barriers that have disproportionate impact on different communities. With the goal of increased transparency, we offer the following information:

  • Originally planned for 2022, ARL decided to postpone IDEAL during the COVID-19 pandemic; the decision to host IDEAL 2024 was confirmed last year, providing just over a year to plan a triennial event. We undertook this effort with the understanding that we would need to make some compromises for 2024 with the intention of learning to improve the planning for IDEAL 2027.
  • IDEAL 2024 is not a revenue generating event for ARL; rather, the conference requires an investment by ARL (i.e., operates at a deficit) and is made possible, in part, by numerous sponsors.
  • Due to the size of the event (up to 750 attendees), IDEAL is not able to operate in convention centers. In selecting a venue, ARL strives to maximize the benefits of the selection with numerous considerations to participant experience. This also means that many factors are intertwined—so shifting one means impacting all the others.
    • The amount of space reserved, the amount of food & beverage ordered, the number of hotel rooms held for and ultimately used by attendees, the registration rates, and more are all interconnected. 
    • Often, efforts to increase equity in one area create new barriers and/or result in overall decreased access for potential attendees.
    • For those that are able, staying in the conference hotel greatly helps ARL with our financial commitments.
  • Given this context, we decided that we were not prepared to provide a full virtual track or hybrid option for 2024. We determined that we can cover the cost of recording the three plenary sessions and working through the details of operationalizing how we will disseminate the recordings. We remain open to exploring options for 2027.
  • While IDEAL is open to all, the target audience includes the galleries, libraries, archives, and museums communities within Canada and the United States.

Notwithstanding these, and other, limitations, ARL remains committed to centering equity. We remain open to feedback and criticism and thankful for your grace and understanding. We are appreciative of your trust to build this experience together as a community—a community of care.

Accommodations Requests

The process is meant to be inclusion based, not compliance based. While registering, you will be asked what, if any, accommodations requests are needed for you to fully participate at the conference. The planning team created this question as an open field for two primary reasons. First, we do not want to limit, other, or stigmatize the needs of someone who might not find an accommodation they need on a list provided by ARL; second, we are unable to guarantee the ability to meet all accommodations based on our resources and capacity. By providing an open box, we are able to provide more tailored support/responses to each individual who asks for accommodations while making more effective and efficient use of the limited resources available by avoiding paying for things that are not requested.

We recognize that this decision has implications—in particular that it increases the burden of participants with disabilities to articulate the accommodations they request without certainty of whether or not the request will be met. All accommodation requests are reviewed and considered by the 5-person ARL internal planning team:

  • Jaymey Butler | director, Events
  • DeLa Dos | senior director, Learning + Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
  • Alisha Keig | director, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
  • Angela Pappalardo | senior program manager, Information and Services
  • Mira Swearer | senior program manager, Learning + Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Please note that we may not be able to meet all requests or the needs of all conference attendees. We will provide updates regarding requests that cannot be accommodated and explore potential alternatives.

Equity in Action

  • All attendee materials will be distributed in an accessible format through the event app.
  • Regular wellness and networking breaks are built in throughout the program.
  • All-gender restrooms are available at the event venue.
  • Facilities for nursing parents will be made available at the event venue when requested.
  • All speakers and audience members asking questions are expected to use microphones.
  • Accommodations for dietary needs are available; please indicate your dietary needs on your conference registration.

To request an accommodation or for inquiries about accessibility, please contact

Presenter Orientation

ARL hosted an orientation for IDEAL 2024 concurrent and poster presenters that included information about how to create accessible materials and how to engage participants in inclusive ways during their sessions. ARL made a recording of the orientation available to all presenters along with additional resources for their review.

Venue Maps and Directions

All IDEAL 2024 components, except the tours, will take place at the conference venue.

The hotel venue is compliant with local accessibility regulations and accessible rooms are available upon request. Please visit the hotel website for more information, and explore the maps below.

Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel Floor Plan

Capacity Charts

Local Information