Colson Whitehead (Black man with braided hair pulled back, wearing leather jacket, looking just up and to the right)

Newsmaker: Colson Whitehead

September 1, 2021

Will the experience of having The Underground Railroad turned into a 10-episode miniseries for Amazon affect your writing? No, I don’t think it will affect my writing. It felt very separate. They optioned it five years ago, so it was always on the backburner, and occasionally I would talk to Barry Jenkins, the director, but … Continue reading Newsmaker: Colson Whitehead


2021 ALA Annual Conference and Exhibition Virtual

2021 Annual Conference Wrap-Up

July 8, 2021

Headlining speakers talked about books, libraries, and the exchange of ideas in the greater context of major societal challenges. Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist and Opening Session speaker Nikole Hannah-Jones, who developed the 1619 Project for The New York Times Magazine, recalled an elective course on Black studies she took as a teenager. “It was the first … Continue reading 2021 Annual Conference Wrap-Up


Barack Obama

Hope and Harmony

June 29, 2021

Interviewed by Lonnie Bunch III, the first African American secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, and introduced by ALA President Julius C. Jefferson Jr., Obama talked about A Promised Land (Crown, November 2020)—the first of two memoirs spanning his paradigm-breaking presidency—and the role of libraries in shaping the story of American democracy. “A Promised Land chronicles … Continue reading Hope and Harmony


Escaping the Ordinary

June 28, 2021

On the surface, Colman’s graphic novel The Unfinished Corner (Wonderbound/Vault, 2021) is about four Jewish kids who are whisked away by a rogue angel to an unfinished portion of the universe to help rid it of evil, but the author said the book conveys much more. “It’s a sad, but undeniable fact, that whenever there … Continue reading Escaping the Ordinary


Isabel Wilkerson

History, Race, and Caste

June 27, 2021

Jefferson spoke of the “twin pandemics” that have marked his tenure as president—COVID-19 and systemic racism—and pointed out that only the virus seems to be reaching resolution. “Isabel Wilkerson and her book Caste help explain why,” he said. Simone Stone, an MSLIS student at the School of Information Services at the University of Illinois at … Continue reading History, Race, and Caste



Food and Family Tradition

June 26, 2021

Moderated by Karen Murgolo, editorial director of the Lifestyle and Culinary imprint at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and editor of Trisha’s Kitchen, Yearwood’s talk was brief but rich in details about her family’s influence on her cooking and her new book. When asked how food keeps family traditions alive, Yearwood said that the dinner table was where … Continue reading Food and Family Tradition


Padma Lakshmi and Juana Martinez-Neal

Food, Form, and Function

June 26, 2021

On its surface, Tomatoes for Neela (Penguin Young Readers, August), tells the story of a young Indian-American girl named Neela who collects “plump, juicy plum tomatoes” with her paati (grandmother) to make a sauce. But the picture book, illustrated by Peruvian-American mixed-media artist Juana Martinez-Neal (whose art earned her the 2020 Sibert Medal for Fry … Continue reading Food, Form, and Function



Stanley Tucci

His Life through Food

June 26, 2021

Twenty-five years ago, he wrote, directed, and starred in Big Night, a scrumptiously shot cult classic that introduced filmgoers to Primo and Secondo, brothers running an Italian restaurant in 1950s New Jersey, and their timpano, an encased, baked pasta dish as painstaking as it was showstopping. These days Tucci is hosting the CNN travelogue show … Continue reading His Life through Food


Judy Tyrus and Paul Novosel

Choreographing a Movement

June 25, 2021

Tyrus started volunteering in DTH’s marketing department in the late 90s after retiring from dancing. There she found scrapbooks, programs, photos, and other archival gems. She was eventually hired to sort it all out, and brought in Novosel—a pianist for company classes—to help her organize scores. “I always dreamed of using the archives to tell … Continue reading Choreographing a Movement


Charles Person

A Seat on the Bus

June 25, 2021

“All our lives are compilations of stories,” he said. “As members of the American Library Association, you put stories into the hands of people in your community to help them learn, and grow, and expand their worlds.” At 78, Person noted, he has finally realized his decades-old dream of writing a book and telling his … Continue reading A Seat on the Bus