For immediate release | June 14, 2013

United for Libraries presents ‘The World’s Strongest Librarian’ at ‘Quirky Books for Quirker Librarians’

PHILADELPHIA — United for Libraries will present “Quirky Books for Quirkier Librarians” from 3 to 4 p.m. CDT on Saturday, June 29 at McCormick Place, S404a during the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago.

Join United for Libraries as great writers, including Josh Hanargarne, Stephen Kiernan, John Scalzi and Abby Stokes, talk with pride about their geeky — and often out in left field — topics. The program will be moderated by Barbara Hoffert, editor of Library Journal’s Prepub Alert. An author signing will follow. Some books will be given away and others will be sold at a generous discount.

Josh Hanagarne (“The World’s Strongest Librarian,” Gotham/Penguin) is 6 feet 8 inches tall and known as the World’s Strongest Librarian. A librarian at the Salt Lake City Public Library, he battled Tourette Syndrome and is now working to help others. His popular blog, World's Strongest Librarian, receives more than 80,000 visitors each month. Josh is also a certified instructor in the Biomechanics of Physique Improvement with the organization The Movement, through which he helps people move better and eliminate chronic pain. Hanagarne lives with his wife Janette and his son Max in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Stephen Kiernan (“The Curiosity,” William Morrow/HarperCollins) is an award-winning journalist and graduate of Middlebury College. He earned an MA from the Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University and an MFA in fiction from the Iowa Writers Workshop. He has written two works of nonfiction — "Last Rights" and "Authentic Patriotism" — that promoted civic engagement. He lives in Vermont with his two sons. "The Curiosity" is his first novel.

John Scalzi (“The Human Division,” Tor/Macmillan) is best known as a writer of science fiction, with several novels in the genre published since 2005. Scalzi’s novel "Old Man's War" is being adapted into a film by Paramount Pictures, with Wolfgang Petersen attached to direct. He is a winner of science fiction’s John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer, and he won the Hugo Award for "Your Hate Mail Will Be Graded,“ a collection of essays from his popular blog The Whatever. A California native, Scalzi lives in Ohio with his wife, daughter and an assortment of pets.

Abby Stokes (“Is This Thing On? A Computer Handbook for Late Bloomers, Technophobes, and the Kicking and Screaming,” Workman) has taught more than 140,000 people, mostly seniors, how to use a computer, privately and through courses at Cooper Union and New York University’s School of Lifelong Learning. She lectures on the topic around the country. Stokes divides her time between New York City and Niantic, Conn.

For more information about United for Libraries programs and events at the ALA Annual Conference, visit

United for Libraries: The Association of Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends and Foundations, is a division of the American Library Association that supports citizens who govern, promote, advocate, and fundraise for libraries. United for Libraries brings together library Trustees, advocates, friends, and foundations into a partnership that creates a powerful force for libraries in the 21st century. For more information or to join United for Libraries, visit the United for Libraries website or contact Jillian Kalonick at (312) 280-2161 or



Jillian Kalonick

Marketing/Public Relations Specialist

United for Libraries