Fables for Modern Times

June 26, 2020

In her forthcoming picture book, Natalie Portman’s Fables (Macmillan, October), Portman updates three traditional children’s stories for today’s youth. She discussed the work and her perspectives on literacy and books for kids with Betsy Bird, collection development manager at Evanston (Ill.) Public Library, at the ALA Virtual Closing Session June 26. Portman said the inspiration … Continue reading Fables for Modern Times


Author and Sesame Street actor Sonia Manzano

Celebrate the World

June 25, 2020

“I’ve noticed an awful shift in the social behavior of American culture. Nowadays, [people] feel to cooperate with someone is a sign of weakness,” she explained to Gary Knell, chairman of National Geographic Partners and former CEO of Sesame Workshop, in a conversation aired at ALA Virtual June 25. “Nowadays, it’s not enough to win—you … Continue reading Celebrate the World



ALA Virtual Opening Session Speaker Misty Copeland

Misty Copeland Gets to the “Pointe” of Representation

June 24, 2020

ALA Executive Director Tracie D. Hall reflected on her first four months as head of the Association, a period marked by the simultaneous struggles of the COVID-19 pandemic and the global uprising against police brutality and racism. “Our resistance in these struggles requires our resilience,” Hall said. In 2026, ALA will turn 150, and Hall … Continue reading Misty Copeland Gets to the “Pointe” of Representation



Scott Simon

Scott Simon’s Sunny Side

January 27, 2020

The revered radio broadcaster, journalist, and author joined Matthew Winner, host of The Children’s Podcast, for a live taping of the show on the Pop Top Stage before a packed crowd of Midwinter attendees. Simon has authored eight fiction and nonfiction books for adults, but his new book, Sunnyside Plaza (Little, Brown Books for Young … Continue reading Scott Simon’s Sunny Side



Challenges to nonbook materials in libraries

Censorship Beyond Books

September 24, 2019

“That didn’t necessarily make sense to me because most public libraries are well prepared to deal with challenges,” she says, pointing to the popularity of Banned Books Week (this year September 22–28) and the array of resources OIF provides for librarians dealing with book challenges. “When I went back and looked just at public libraries, … Continue reading Censorship Beyond Books


From left: Phil Morehart, Ekua Holmes, Angie Thomas, Jacqueline Woodson, Christopher Myers, and Jason Reynolds at the 2019 ALA Annual Conference in Washington, D.C.

A Conversation about the Coretta Scott King Book Awards

August 20, 2019

What’s changed in the 50 years since librarians Glyndon Flynt and Mabel McKissick first thought of the CSK Book Awards at the 1969 ALA Annual Conference? How have the awards impacted children’s publishing in the years since? Jacqueline Woodson: One thing, just now walking through the convention center, we saw all of these books written … Continue reading A Conversation about the Coretta Scott King Book Awards


Sonia Sotomayor

Sonia Sotomayor Embraces Librarians—Literally

June 22, 2019

Her talk was moderated by her longtime editor Jill Santopolo, associate publisher of Philomel Books. Sotomayor noted that as a child she could never sit still and was soon walking the aisles of the auditorium—followed closely by her security detail—telling her story, hugging attendees, and being serenaded for her upcoming birthday (June 25). Sotomayor said … Continue reading Sonia Sotomayor Embraces Librarians—Literally



Dav Pilkey (center) with his Dog Man and Captain Underpants characters

Newsmaker: Dav Pilkey

April 16, 2019

Pilkey struggled with dyslexia and ADHD as a child. But being encouraged by his mother to read whatever he liked—”it didn’t matter if it was a magazine, or a comic book, or a bunch of Snoopy cartoons, or the Guinness Book of World Records,” he says—changed his life. He started drawing his Captain Underpants character … Continue reading Newsmaker: Dav Pilkey