Designing the future of libraries

Statement on Spread of Communicable Disease, Coronavirus (COVID-19) Concerns

Today is March 6.  D4D is taking place as scheduled March 9-11, 2020 in Austin, Texas. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has publicly deemed the health risk of coronavirus for the general American public to be low at this time.

We are aware that SXSW has been canceled. The SXSW statement from the Mayor listed multiple reasons for cancellation including event size/ magnitude, venues, guests attending from locations where person-to-person spread is occurring now or guests coming from highly impacted worldwide regions. In none of these criteria, does a cancellation of ER&L fit. The mayor especially mentioned “guests over 65 and guests to Austin with preexisting conditions” and as we have stressed, all attendees, presenters and exhibitors have remote participation alternatives. ER&L listened to the Austin mayor’s entire announcement and that of city health officials who specifically site events of 2500 or fewer people are not impacted by this SXSW announcement.

Please be advised of the following:

  • D4D will be a handshake/ hug free conference.
  • Attendees with tickets to join us in Austin may change to an online conference ticket with no cancellation or penalty. Complete this Online Transfer registration for each registrant, and we will send credentials to the online conference to you within 24 hours. and you will receive credentials within 24 hours. All transfer request registrations must be completed by Sunday at NOON in order to attend the full online conference. 
  • Presenters have remote presentation options available. Please contact the organizers as soon as possible if you need to present remotely. Start here, and click the Remote Presenter icon.
  • International attendees and attendees in immunocompromised or sensitive groups are encouraged to participate remotely. No cancellation fees will be incurred.

Current CDC Recommendations to Curb Spread of Communicable Disease:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.  If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home / do not travel when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then discard tissue in trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

Onsite Preparedness

At D4D 2020, this will translate to some minor visible changes and reminders based on our interpretation of the CDC guidelines:

  • Disinfectant wipes will be available in every room.
  • Alcohol-based hand sanitizer will be available in every session room and accessible in many locations throughout the facility.
  • Conference facility staff will be cleaning surfaces more frequently between sessions.
  • Shared surfaces such as presenter laptops at lecterns will be wiped with alcohol based wipes daily.
  • Visual Reminders – You’ll see notes and posters with reminders such as:
    • Use this 15 minutes session break to wash hands for at least 20 seconds.
    • If you’re coughing or sneezing, please use a tissue or sleeve.
    • Please dispose of used tissues promptly.
    • Alternative Greetings posters, tweets, reminders.
  • D4D is a handshake-free meeting and use of alternative greetings is greatly encouraged.

What are ‘Alternative Greetings’?

As conveners of this event, we love nothing more than seeing old friends connect and new friendships established. Sometimes we express friendship with a handshake or hug. We are going handshake-free. Here are some alternatives to the handshake or hug:

  • Elbow bump
  • A smile and a nod
  • A wave
  • Foot or toe bump

If you have any questions, please contact Bonnie Tijerina at hello at