For immediate release | June 1, 2021

AASL President’s Program Panel Discusses the Power of Words

CHICAGO – Best-selling author Nic Stone and Cicely Lewis, founder of Read Woke, will join AASL President Kathy Carroll to discuss the need for diverse collections and authentic student inquiry in school libraries during the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) President’s Program during the 2021 ALA Annual Conference. The full AASL schedule of events can be found at

Stone is an American New York Times best-selling author of young adult and middle-grade fiction, including “Dear Martin” and “Clean Getaway.” After graduating from Spelman College, she worked extensively in teen mentoring and lived in Israel before returning to the US to write full time. Growing up with a wide range of cultures, religions, and backgrounds, Stone strives to bring these diverse voices and stories to her work.

Lewis is a school librarian at Meadowcreek High School in Norcross, Georgia. She is the founder of Read Woke, a movement to read books that challenge the status quo, provide information about groups that have been disenfranchised, and share perspectives from underrepresented or oppressed groups. In 2019, Lewis was given the National Teacher Award for Lifelong Readers by NCTE and Penguin Random House, and in 2020 she was named School Librarian of the Year by School Library Journal.

“I am proud that the focus of the AASL President’s Program focuses on the need for diverse representation in YA and children's literature,” said Carroll. “Books have the power to influence, educate, and enlighten readers. That is why it is important for students to see both themselves and others in our collections. I am thrilled to have two powerhouses joining me for what promises to be a lively and informative conversation about diversity, representation, and inclusion.”

The AASL President’s Program, “Words Have Power: Exploring the School Library's Role in Promoting Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion through Resources and Diverse Narratives,” will be presented virtually at 11:15 a.m. Central on Friday, June 25.

The American Association of School Librarians,, a division of the American Library Association (ALA), empowers leaders to transform teaching and learning.


Jennifer Habley

Manager, Web Communications

American Association of School Librarians (AASL)