Magazine article American Libraries

Advocates to Rally in D.C.: Library Advocacy Day Rally; Appearances by Authors Toni Morrison; Sarah, Duchess of York; and John Grisham Highlight Conference Agenda

Magazine article American Libraries

Advocates to Rally in D.C.: Library Advocacy Day Rally; Appearances by Authors Toni Morrison; Sarah, Duchess of York; and John Grisham Highlight Conference Agenda

Article excerpt

A LA's Annual Conference in Washington, D.C., June 24-29, at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center (WWCC) and surrounding hotels offers a full program agenda and an array of guest speakers culminating with members converging on Capitol Hill to express their support for library-friendly funding and policies to the U.S. Congress. The effort is designed to serve as a visual reminder to members of Congress that libraries still matter.


For one year only, Library Advocacy Day June 29, hosted by the ALA Washington Office, will replace National Library Legislative Day. Advocates from all 50 states and Washington, D.C., will meet at 11 a.m. at Upper Senate Park on the Capitol grounds for a rally before meeting with their elected officials and staffs.

Registration is not required but is recommended. Visit for more information.

Other conference highlights follow. For room locations and additional programming, consult the final conference program.

President's Program

ALA President Camila Alire will host Eppo Van Nispen tot Sevenaer, who will tell his inspiring story in a talk, "Libraries Wanted: Dead or Alive," Sunday, June 27, from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m., during the President's Program. He will take attendees on an inspirational trip through the universe and the future onto a new horizon. An inspirational speaker, Van Nispen's vision on the future of media and libraries is acclaimed by world leaders and visionaries.

After a successful career in broadcasting, where he was among the first to work on interactive formats, Van Nispen decided to dedicate his knowledge of media and how people use media to work on the future for libraries. He started the DOK Library Concept Center in Delft, a small city near Amsterdam in the Netherlands with one of the best technical universities in the world. DOK's mission is to build the world's most modern library. In 2008, DOK was designated by international experts as the worldwide number one library in innovation. In 2009, DOK was appointed the best library of the Netherlands.

Celebrity circle

A line-up of luminaries will speak throughout the conference, including during the popular Auditorium Speakers Series.

Nobel Prize-winning author, editor, and professor Toni Morrison is Opening General Session speaker, Saturday, June 26, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Some of her acclaimed titles include: The Bluest Eye, Song of Solomon, and Beloved, which won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1988. Morrison won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1993. Her newest children's books are Peeny Butter Fudge and Little Cloud and Lady Wind.


Closing Session speaker is New York Times bestselling author Amy Sedaris (I Like You: Hospitality under the Influence) Tuesday, June 29, from 9 to 10 a.m. She has appeared in several movies and television shows, and, with Paul Dinello and Stephen Colbert, is a coauthor of Wigfield. Sedaris also cowrote Strangers with Candy, the hit television show on Comedy Central.

Author and legendary librarian action figure model Nancy Pearl, conducting an interview with Mary McDonagh Murphy, kicks off the Auditorium Speakers Series Saturday, June 26, from 8 to 9 a.m. in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the American classic To Kill a Mockingbird. Murphy is an Emmy award--winning filmmaker and author of the upcoming book Scout, Atticus, and Boo: A Celebration of 50 Years of To Kill a Mockingbird.

Pearl speaks about the pleasures of reading to library and community groups throughout the world and comments on books regularly on NPR's Morning Edition.

Sue Monk Kidd and Ann Kidd Taylor will speak Saturday, June 26, from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Kidd grew up in the tiny town of Sylvester, Georgia, a place that deeply influenced her first novel, The Secret Life of Bees. She is also the author of The Dance of the Dissident Daughter and The Mermaid Chair, a number one New York Times bestseller and winner of the 2005 Quill Award for General Fiction. …

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