Attendees crowd around travel author Rick Steves for autographs following his Auditorium Speaker Series presentation at the 2019 ALA Midwinter Meeting. Photo: Cognotes

2019 Midwinter Wrap-Up

February 5, 2019

The Emerald City played host to more than 9,200 attendees (as compared with 8,036 in 2018 and 8,995 in 2017), who came to soak up the words of big-name speakers, learn from the practices of their peers, and network around subjects practical and theoretical. As with recent Midwinters, many sessions focused on the empowerment of … Continue reading 2019 Midwinter Wrap-Up




Rick Steves Photo: Tim Frakes

Newsmaker: Rick Steves

January 18, 2019

Steves will appear as an Auditorium Speaker at the American Library Association’s 2019 Midwinter Meeting in Seattle on January 27 to talk about the third edition of his book, Travel as a Political Act (Hachette Book Group, 2018). This month he releases Rick Steves Classroom Europe, a searchable resource of video clips that he hopes … Continue reading Newsmaker: Rick Steves


Preview of the American Library Association's 2019 Midwinter Meeting & Exhibits in Seattle.

2019 Midwinter Preview

January 2, 2019

Featured speakers Opening Session Friday, January 25, 4–5:15 p.m. Philanthropist Melinda Gates, cofounder of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, has dedicated her life to transforming the health and prosperity of families, communities, and societies. Core to her work is the empowerment of women and girls. Gates is the author of the forthcoming The Moment … Continue reading 2019 Midwinter Preview



Sonia Sotomayor (Photo: Elena Seibert)

Newsmaker: Sonia Sotomayor

October 16, 2018

Now she’s brought those stories to younger readers with two new books: The Beloved World of Sonia Sotomayor (Delacorte Press, September), for middle graders; and the picture book Turning Pages: My Life Story (Philomel, September). American Libraries spoke with Justice Sotomayor while she traveled to an appearance at Chicago Public Library. I understand that you … Continue reading Newsmaker: Sonia Sotomayor


Author Eric Klinenberg (Photo: Lisa DeNeffe)

Newsmaker: Eric Klinenberg

October 11, 2018

Klinenberg spoke with American Libraries about his lifelong love of libraries and the inadvertent lessons learned from Amazon stores. Your book opens with a discussion of the 1995 Chicago heat wave, which killed more than 700 people in just a few days. Why did you decide to start there? Eric Klinenberg: It was the first … Continue reading Newsmaker: Eric Klinenberg


Susan Orlean

Newsmaker: Susan Orlean

September 4, 2018

In the book you write, “Sometimes it’s harder to notice a place you think you know well…. I had to force myself to look harder and try to see beyond the concept of library that was so latent in my brain.” What is the most surprising thing that you learned about libraries or librarians while … Continue reading Newsmaker: Susan Orlean


Attendees of the American Library Association's 2018 Annual Conference and Exhibition in New Orleans display matching Michelle Obama T-shirts ahead of the Opening General Session. Photos: Cognotes and Rebecca Lomax/American Libraries

2018 Annual Wrap-Up

July 18, 2018

Among the many big-name speakers in the Big Easy was former First Lady Michelle Obama, who opened the conference with an inspiring talk about work ethic, raising children, being a woman, striving for work/life balance, and the importance of remembering one another’s humanity. “I know that there are so many people in this country, in … Continue reading 2018 Annual Wrap-Up


Viola Davis

Viola Davis Takes a Bow

June 26, 2018

“This is one of my favorite cities,” she announced to an auditorium packed with library professionals. “You can blow a fuse in this city, though, between the vodka and the fried oysters.” Oscar, Emmy, and Tony-winning actor Davis was the Closing Session speaker at the American Library Association’s 2018 Annual Conference and Exhibition in New Orleans … Continue reading Viola Davis Takes a Bow


Author KaeLyn Rich and her new book Girls Resist! at the YA Coffee Klatch, an event sponsored by the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) and held during the 2018 ALA Annual Meeting and Exhibition June 24

YA Coffee Klatch

June 24, 2018

The discussion at table #20 commenced with a visit from author Cynthia Leitich Smith, who is a citizen of the Muscogee Nation. Cynthia discussed her forthcoming book Hearts Unbroken (Candlewick, 2018). She describes it as a book with diverse characters in a high school musical. It is also reflective of her relationship as a Native teen … Continue reading YA Coffee Klatch