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2024 Annual Conference Preview

San Diego’s famously sunny reputation may rest on its Mediterranean climate, but “America’s Finest City” has more to offer than beaches and breezes. As the former stomping ground of Theodor Geisel (also known as Dr. Seuss; see our By the Numbers) and Raymond Chandler—and the place where speculative-fiction stars Kim Stanley Robinson and Cindy Pon […]

Newsmaker: Dave Eggers

Photo: Mark Davis Dave Eggers, a dynamic literary force, is also a passionate, innovative, and generous advocate. The cofounder of 826 National, a network of youth writing and tutoring centers around the country, he also established nonprofit independent publishing company McSweeney’s and is an exceptionally creative and prolific writer. His many books for adults include […]

Newsmaker: Kathleen Hanna

Photo: Rachel Bright   Artist and activist Kathleen Hanna is most known as the lead singer of punk bands Bikini Kill, Le Tigre, and the Julie Ruin. Hanna’s new memoir Rebel Girl: My Life as a Feminist Punk (Ecco, May) chronicles the challenges and triumphs of her life before, during, and after navigating the male-dominated […]

Newsmaker: Dulcé Sloan

Dulcé Sloan Photo: Bronson Farr Two decades ago, while Daily Show Senior Correspondent Dulcé Sloan was doing summer shows at a community theater in Quakertown, Pennsylvania, the library was her main hangout spot. In the small town of 9,000 people, it was a place to gather with other young actors—and the only place with internet […]

Newsmaker: Hanif Abdurraqib

When poet and writer Hanif Abdurraqib received a 2021 MacArthur Fellowship, the foundation observed that he “is forging a new form of cultural criticism, one that is informed by lived experience and offers incisive social and artistic critiques.” This aptly describes A Little Devil in America: Notes in Praise of Black Performance (2021), winner of […]

Newsmaker: Jesús Trejo

Jesús Trejo often has a full plate—literally and figuratively—when it comes to his career. The comedian and author is the host and executive producer of First We Feast’s Tacos Con Todo web series, where he bites into California’s taco scene alongside other comedians. He acts and writes for the Hulu’s This Fool. Last summer, he […]

Newsmaker: Antonia Hylton

Antonia Hylton speaks at the 2024 LibLearnX conference in Baltimore on January 20. Photo: EPNAC NBC News and MSNBC correspondent Antonia Hylton says she became obsessed with the story of Crownsville (Md.) State Hospital when she arrived at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, as a history student. Hylton spent years doing archival research and building […]

2024 LibLearnX Wrap-Up

Washington Post columnist Michele Norris (right) speaks with ALA President Emily Drabinski at the opening session of the 2024 LibLearnX conference in Baltimore on January 20. Photo: Rebecca Lomax/American Libraries Freezing temperatures in Baltimore could not stop librarians from exchanging hot ideas at the American Library Association’s (ALA) second in-person LibLearnX conference. Held January 19–22, […]

2024 LibLearnX Preview

LibLearnX heads to the Charm City this year, and what place could B’more enticing? The American Library Association’s (ALA) LibLearnX conference will be held January 19–22, bringing collaborative learning activities, networking opportunities, celebrations, and author talks to the city of Baltimore. Designed for active learning, the conference will offer more than 100 educational programs in returning […]

Newsmaker: Ali Hazelwood

Ali Hazelwood Photo: Justin Murphy/Out of the Attic Photography Romance author and doctor of neuroscience Ali Hazelwood saw her 2021 debut, The Love Hypothesis, become a New York Times bestseller and go viral on TikTok. Readers praised the book—derived from a piece of Star Wars fan fiction Hazelwood had written—for its classic tropes and STEM […]

Newsmaker: Tracy K. Smith

Tracy K. Smith Photo: Andrew Kelly Author, professor, and librettist Tracy K. Smith is as prolific as she is distinguished. She has won a Pulitzer Prize for Poetry (for 2011’s Life on Mars), earned a National Book Award nomination (for her 2015 memoir, Ordinary Light), and served as 2017–2019 US poet laureate. With To Free […]

Newsmaker: LeVar Burton

LeVar Burton Photo: Sarah Coulter for Paramount+ When asked about the impact libraries have had on his life and work, LeVar Burton answered simply and succinctly: “Better to ask what role sunlight and water plays in the life and work of flowers.” The actor, known for his roles in the iconic series Roots and Star […]

Newsmaker: Rick Riordan

Rick Riordan Photo: M. Sharkey Rick Riordan is best known for his Greek mythology–inspired Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, which has since inspired a larger franchise. In May he released The Sun and the Star: A Nico di Angelo Adventure (Hachette) with coauthor Mark Oshiro, about the son of Hades and his boyfriend on […]

2023 Annual Wrap-Up

Simon & Schuster Senior Vice President and Publisher Justin Chanda (left) interviews author Judy Blume at the 2023 Annual Conference and Exhibition. Photo: EPNAC This summer marked a homecoming for the American Library Association (ALA), as thousands of library workers and advocates gathered in Chicago for the 2023 Annual Conference and Exhibition. The conference, which […]

Newsmakers: Idina Menzel and C1

Idina Menzel (left) and Cara Mentzel Photo: ENPAC When Idina Menzel was contemplating writing a children’s book, her first thought was to join forces with her younger sister. “I wouldn’t have done it any other way,” Menzel—a world-renowned singer and performer best known for her stage and screen roles in Frozen, Rent, and Wicked—said about […]

2023 Annual Conference Preview

Illustration: ©greens87/Adobe Stock It’s been five years since librarianship’s largest event has taken place in Chicago, the hometown of the American Library Association (ALA). So much, both in the profession and the world around us, has changed since then. But so much of the 2023 Annual Conference and Exhibition will feel familiar—including top-tier authors, educational […]

Newsmaker: Ken Jennings

Ken Jennings Photo: Faith Jennings As a kid growing up during the 1970s and 1980s, record Jeopardy! champion-turned-host Ken Jennings was surrounded by stories about the world’s greatest mysteries: the Bermuda Triangle, UFOs, Bigfoot. But for him, what’s beyond our physical world has always been the biggest and most exciting enigma. Jennings explores the afterlife […]

Newsmaker: Angie Thomas

Photo: Imani Khayyam Soon after Angie Thomas released her debut young adult novel, The Hate U Give, in 2017, the book became a common target for challenges in schools and libraries across the US. But the novel also helped change the landscape of the publishing industry, at a time when authors and readers were calling […]

Newsmaker: Kelly Yang

Kelly Yang Photo: Jessica Sample As a kid, the library was the first place Kelly Yang felt invited to “dream bigger.” Yang, now a bestselling and award-winning middle-grade and YA author, spent her childhood moving from city to city, making it difficult to find her footing. But everywhere she went, she could find familiar stories […]

Newsmaker: Ani DiFranco

Ani DiFranco Photo credit: GMD Three When the COVID-19 pandemic put a halt on live music, Grammy Award–winning musician and activist Ani DiFranco found another outlet for her artistry: children’s literature. DiFranco, who released a bestselling memoir in 2019, published her debut children’s book, The Knowing (Penguin Random House), in March. She describes the book […]