Hasan Minhaj at the Public Library Association Conference in Philadelphia on March 24. Photo: Laura Kinser

Newsmaker: Hasan Minhaj

June 1, 2018

You share some intensely personal experiences in Homecoming King about being the child of an immigrant. Was it hard deciding what to codify into comedy? In a comedy special you have only 70 minutes, so a lot of times you’re working with coffee and you need to boil it down to comedy espresso. I’m trying to … Continue reading Newsmaker: Hasan Minhaj


Junot Díaz

Newsmaker: Junot Díaz

May 1, 2018

Islandborn is your first book for kids. What was its inspiration? There were multiple inspirations. A lot of it was being a writer with godchildren, nephews, and nieces always saying, “Hey, will you write us a story?” And knowing that I should write them a story, because when I was growing up a kid of … Continue reading Newsmaker: Junot Díaz


Newsmaker: Jason Reynolds

April 12, 2018

This year’s theme for School Library Month is “Making Connections at Your School Library.” You’ve said reading the lyrics to Queen Latifah’s 1993 album Black Reign changed your life and inspired you to start writing poetry. When students connect with and see themselves in the music, multimedia, and books they read, it changes their relationship with reading completely. … Continue reading Newsmaker: Jason Reynolds


Newsmaker: Emilio Estevez

March 1, 2018

What was the inspiration behind The Public? I was inspired by a moving 2007 essay called “Written Off” by Chip Ward, now-retired assistant director of the Salt Lake City Public Library System, published in part in the Los Angeles Times (and in full at tomdispatch.com under the title, “What They Didn’t Teach Us in Library … Continue reading Newsmaker: Emilio Estevez


Misty Copeland. Photo: Gregg Delman

Newsmaker: Misty Copeland

February 1, 2018

Copeland is author of Life in Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina (Simon and Schuster, 2014); Firebird (Putnam, 2014), with illustrator Christopher Myers, which won the 2015 Coretta Scott King Book Illustrator Award; and Ballerina Body: Dancing and Eating Your Way to a Leaner, Stronger, and More Grateful You (Grand Central Life and Style, 2017). She spoke with … Continue reading Newsmaker: Misty Copeland


Dolly Parton

Newsmaker: Dolly Parton

January 2, 2018

There are so many ways to promote reading and literacy. How did you decide to set up Imagination Library this way so that children get free books in the mail that they can keep? It started out with a simple dream, and a very personal one, 22 years ago. My father was a brilliant man, … Continue reading Newsmaker: Dolly Parton


Emil Ferris

Newsmaker: Emil Ferris

November 1, 2017

You worked on this story for several years while recovering from West Nile virus, getting a master’s at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and raising your daughter. Then this nearly 400-page book comes out, and cartoonist Art Spiegelman is calling you “one of the most important comics artists of our time.” How … Continue reading Newsmaker: Emil Ferris



Reshma Saujani.Photo: Adrian Kinloch

Newsmaker: Reshma Saujani

July 19, 2017

Girls Who Code has seen exponential growth since its founding. To what do you attribute to the nonprofit’s success? We have this amazing, authentically girl-led movement. We started with 20 girls in 2012; now we’ve reached more than 40,000 girls in all 50 states through our summer immersion programs and after-school clubs. We’ve met girls … Continue reading Newsmaker: Reshma Saujani


Nikki Giovanni

Newsmaker: Nikki Giovanni

June 1, 2017

When you were growing up, what was your relationship to libraries like? We went to the Carnegie library that Andrew Carnegie had built for black Americans—Knoxville, Tennessee, was still segregated—and my librarian was Mrs. Long. I remember her getting books for me: “Well, Nikki, would you like to read this?” Some of the books I … Continue reading Newsmaker: Nikki Giovanni


Roxane Gay

Newsmaker: Roxane Gay

May 1, 2017

You have published work in so many formats: novels, books of essays and short stories, a comic book (Marvel’s Black Panther: World of Wakanda, with Ta-Nehisi Coates and Yona Harvey), plus an upcoming memoir and a screenplay. What are the different challenges and rewards of working in each medium? Storytelling is storytelling, I have learned, … Continue reading Newsmaker: Roxane Gay


Julie Foudy during the United States Women's National Soccer Team/South Korea Women's National Football Team international friendly match. (Photo by Joe Faraoni / ESPN Images)

Newsmaker: Julie Foudy

April 11, 2017

Where did the title Choose to Matter come from? It comes from a summer leadership academy we’ve been doing for 10-plus years, which is a combination of sports and leadership woven together for a weeklong residential camp. Our tagline is “Choose to Matter” with the kids, because our message is that leadership is personal, not … Continue reading Newsmaker: Julie Foudy