For immediate release | May 14, 2012

APALA and REFORMA highlight diverse voices in graphic novels

CHICAGO —The Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association (APALA) and the REFORMA—The National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish Speaking—provide a new look at a growing area of the publishing world—graphic novels.

“Beyond Books: Graphic Novels and Magazines of Color,” from 10:30-noon on Sunday June 24, 2012, at the Anaheim (Calif.) Convention Center Room 207D, at the 2012 ALA Annual Conference, will focus on the importance and future of graphic novels, comics and magazines written primarily for and by Asian, Latino, and African-American authors and the evolution of Latino, Asian and African-American comic book characters. The discussion will also explore the heart-wrenching writing and artwork created by incarcerated youth, most of whom are Latino and African-American, and the revolutionary nature of their works.

Scheduled speakers include David Inocencio, co-founder of "The Beat Within - A Weekly Publication of Writing and Art From the Inside"; Keith Knight, award-winning artist, author and publisher of "The Weekly K Chronicles," "(th)ink" and art contributor to publications such as, ESPN Magazine, MAD Magazine and others; Rebecca Marrall, diversity resident librarian at Western Libraries in Bellingham, Wash.; and Jason Shiga, author of “Empire State,” “Double Happiness” and “Bookhunter.”

For more information on the ALA Annual Conference, and to register, please visit

An affiliate of the American Library Association (ALA), the Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association (APALA) was founded in 1980 by librarians of diverse Asian/Pacific ancestries committed to working together toward a common goal: to create an organization that would address the needs of Asian/Pacific American librarians and those who serve Asian/Pacific American communities. For more information about APALA, visit

Established in 1971 as an affiliate of the American Library Association (ALA), REFORMA has actively sought to promote the development of library collections to include Spanish-language and Latino oriented materials; the recruitment of more bilingual and bicultural library professionals and support staff; the development of library services and programs that meet the needs of the Latino community; the establishment of a national information and support network among individuals who share our goals; the education of the U.S. Latino population with regard to the availability and types of library services; and lobbying efforts to preserve existing library resource centers serving the interests of Latinos. Nationally, there are 26 REFORMA chapters. For more information on REFORMA, please visit


Miguel A. Figueroa


Office for Diversity & Spectrum