"The American Library Association, the oldest and largest library association in the world, holds its Annual Conference & Exhibition each summer. The largest such convention in the world is attended by more than 25,000 librarians, library supporters, educators, writers, publishers, Friends of Libraries, trustees and special guests. The conference includes more than 2,000 meetings, discussion groups and programs on various topics affecting libraries and librarians. Approximately 850 exhibiting companies feature the latest in books, online services, automation software, furniture and other materials vital to today's libraries and librarians. ALA units display professional exhibits highlighting the various aspects of the profession."