"Books in Our Age of Anxiety" panel

Using Lit to Help Kids

January 26, 2020

Abigail Hing Wen (Loveboat, Tapei), I.W. Gregorio (This Is My Brain in Love, 2020), Gail Silver (Mindful Bea and the Worry Tree, 2019), Sharon Huss Roat (How to Disappear, 2017), and Beth Kephart (The Great Upending, 2020) were joined by Lauren Caldwell, director of the American Psychological Association’s (APA) Children, Youth, and Families Office, for … Continue reading Using Lit to Help Kids


Echo Brown

Miracles and Memoir

January 25, 2020

Brown relayed her “origin story” to attendees in the Auditorium Speaker Series at the American Library Association Midwinter Meeting and Exhibits in Philadelphia on January 25. Born during the mid-1980s crack epidemic in one of Cleveland’s poorest neighborhoods to a mother and stepfather with no money and histories of addiction, her first memory is of … Continue reading Miracles and Memoir



Author and We Need Diverse Books cofounder Ellen Oh speaks at the AASL National Conference in Louisville, Kentucky, November 14.

The Power of Diverse Books

November 15, 2019

The energy permeated the opening session at the Kentucky International Convention Center, with attendees waving state flags and cheering as their state associations were recognized by AASL President Mary Keeling. Applause broke out when Jefferson County (Ky.) Public Schools (JCPS) Superintendent Marty Pollio noted that 100% of JCPS schools have librarians. Keynote speaker Ellen Oh, … Continue reading The Power of Diverse Books


From left, authors Shaun David Hutchinson, Marie Lu, Renee Ahdieh, and Veronica Roth at the closing session of the 2019 YALSA Symposium in Memphis, Tennessee, November 3.

Sci-Fi Can Save You

November 4, 2019

“I read a lot of genre fiction growing up,” said Roth, creator of the Divergent series. “Fewer women were in the driving seat of those books. [But Meg] had a lot of feelings.” Hutchinson, author of We Are the Ants (Simon Pulse, 2017) and At the Edge of the Universe (Simon Pulse, 2018), agreed. “It’s … Continue reading Sci-Fi Can Save You


From left, YA authors Lauren Myracle, Sandhya Menon, Kekla Magoon, and Meredith Russo speak at the Opening Session of the Young Adult Library Services Association’s Young Adult Services Symposium on November 1 in Memphis, Tennessee.

“Really YA” Tackles Real Issues

November 4, 2019

At “Really YA,” a panel moderated by YALSA President Todd Krueger, bestselling authors Kekla Magoon, Sandhya Menon, Lauren Myracle, and Meredith Russo talked about the inspiration and experiences behind their latest realistic fiction works and the research they did to write their characters’ stories. “I wanted to show a trans girl who’s messier, and having … Continue reading “Really YA” Tackles Real Issues


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


Raina Telgemeier (Photo: Joseph Fanvu Photography)

Newsmaker: Raina Telgemeier

September 3, 2019

Telgemeier has also written two fictional graphic novels (Drama and Ghosts), four illustrated adaptions of The Baby-Sitters Club series, and the new interactive journal Share Your Smile. American Libraries spoke with Telgemeier about her creative process, how graphic novelists became champions for unrepresented voices in publishing, and her advice for aspiring artists. You wrote two … Continue reading Newsmaker: Raina Telgemeier


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




left to right) Erin Stewart, Deborah Maroulis, Nikki Barthelmess, Sarah J. Carlson, C. H. Armstrong, James Brandon, Alexandra Villasante, and Laura Sibson

Tough Topics In YA

June 24, 2019

The program, titled “Tough topics in YA: How the 2019 debuts are tackling the dark—but real—issues teens care about,” featured authors Erin Stewart, Deborah Maroulis, Nikki Barthelmess, Sarah J. Carlson, C. H. Armstrong, James Brandon, Alexandra Villasante, and Laura Sibson. Each author brought a different slant to the notion of what is considered a tough topic … Continue reading Tough Topics In YA