BookExpo officials today told PW that its virtual conference, BookExpo Online, was a success—especially its opening day dedicated to libraries.

“So far, there have been more than 20,000 views of the library programming alone and the engagement in the comments section has been overwhelmingly positive,” event director Jennifer Martin told PW. “We are able to reach so many more folks with this virtual format, and it will definitely be a mainstay for us moving forward.”

BookExpo Online ends today after four days of virtual programming, beginning with its Library Day on May 26. The sessions will remain available for watching in perpetuity on BookExpo’s FaceBook page, and BookExpo officials say that plans are also in the works to make them available via a YouTube channel in the coming weeks.

Like many other conferences, including the 2020 ALA Annual Conference, BookExpo was forced to go online in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis.

Plans for next year’s BookExpo are already underway, and organizers say they are confident the live show will be able to return in 2021. Meanwhile, the successful establishment of an online component to accompany the in-person event could prove to be a net positive—certainly for the library community. BookExpo has grown in popularity among librarians in recent years, but the strong engagement numbers for BookExpo Online’s Library Day certainly suggests there is considerable room to virtually extend the show’s reach into libraries.