Kazuo Ishiguro

Newsmaker: Kazuo Ishiguro

February 25, 2021

Klara and the Sun is a powerful commentary on the ethics of technological advances and artificial intelligence. What inspired you to address those themes? It was an opportunity to have a narrator with an interesting perspective. The Artificial Friend is almost like a baby at the beginning: completely fresh, completely open, but taking things in … Continue reading Newsmaker: Kazuo Ishiguro


ALA Midwinter Virtual wrap-up (logo in center, surrounded by headshots of featured speakers)

2021 Midwinter Wrap-Up

February 3, 2021

Though this year’s event was the final meeting, it was a consequential one with more than 7,100 participants and marquee speakers such as Ruby Bridges, Ethan Hawke, Ziggy Marley, Cicely Tyson, Emmanuel Acho, US Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.), and new US First Lady Jill Biden. Many sessions centered on two major themes: equity, diversity, and … Continue reading 2021 Midwinter Wrap-Up



Emmanuel Acho

Uncomfortable Conversations

January 24, 2021

“In the wake of the murder of George Floyd, as a Black man, I realized I had to do something,” the Fox Sports analyst and former National Football League (NFL) linebacker told attendees at a Featured Speaker session of the American Library Association’s 2021 Midwinter Meeting & Exhibits Virtual on January 24. “It’s my job … Continue reading Uncomfortable Conversations




Ethan Hawke

The Power of Language

January 23, 2021

“One of the great benefits of being an actor is, if you do it long enough you realize that what it truly is at its core is a celebration of writing,” he said. “There’s a feeling that you get when you read something beautiful, whether it’s a Wallace Stevens poem or a comic book, and … Continue reading The Power of Language


Navigating Fictional Worlds

January 23, 2021

Not to be pigeonholed, the author has moved into more family-friendly fare in recent years with books based on the popular Minecraft videogame, including the upcoming Minecraft: The Mountain (Del Rey, 2021), a sequel to the 2019 Minecraft: The Island. The books follow an unnamed hero embarking on multiple adventures in the block-like world of … Continue reading Navigating Fictional Worlds


400 Years of Black American Life

January 23, 2021

Speaking January 23 at the Opening Session of ALA Midwinter Virtual 2021, the pair described both the significance of the volume and the process of compiling it. It features the work of 90 Black writers—novelists, journalists, poets, historians, and philosophers—on different eras of the Black American experience. “We brought together a community of Black writers … Continue reading 400 Years of Black American Life


Natalie Baszile

Voices from the Land

January 22, 2021

“Farming is an integral part of our national identity,” she told viewers from the Diversity In Publishing stage at the American Library Association’s Midwinter Meeting & Exhibits Virtual on January 22. “Land represents freedom, independence, and self-determination.” But Baszile, herself a great-great-granddaughter of a farmer and beekeeper who lived near Tuskegee, Alabama, saw that Black … Continue reading Voices from the Land


Matt de la Peña and Christian Robinson

A World You Want to See

January 22, 2021

He and author-illustrator Christian Robinson appeared on the virtual PopTop Stage at the 2021 Midwinter Meeting & Exhibits Virtual on January 22. The two began their 30-minute discussion by talking about the artistic process behind Last Stop on Market Street, for which de la Peña won the Newbery, and Robinson won a Caldecott Honor. The … Continue reading A World You Want to See


Ruby Bridges. Photo: Tom Dumont Photo

This Is Your Time

January 22, 2021

Hayden opened the conversation with condolences to Bridges for the loss of her mother, Lucille, who died in November from cancer. Calling Lucille her “guardian angel,” Bridges said her mother was a driving force and influence in her family. “She was a beacon for me and my siblings,” Bridges said. “She was adamant about having … Continue reading This Is Your Time