For immediate release | June 8, 2010

ALA Inaugural Banquet site for launch of “Our Authors, Our Advocates”

Carmen Agra Deedy, Sharon Draper, Brad Meltzer and Marie Arana featured at the inauguration of Roberta Stevens as ALA President

CHICAGO – The ALA Inaugural Banquet, to be held at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, June 29, at the Renaissance Washington, Grand Ballroom, will set the stage for the launch of the new national advocacy public awareness campaign, “Our Authors, Our Advocates.” The inauguration is the closing event of the ALA Annual Conference being held in Washington, D.C., from June 24 – 29.

“Authors are the natural allies of libraries in these challenging times,” said ALA President- Elect Roberta Stevens. “They understand the key role libraries and library staff play in the economic, social and educational fabric of our nation. ‘Our Authors, Our Advocates’ will focus on using these well-known and passionate individuals to speak out on the importance of not only sustaining but increasing support for libraries.”

While the economic downturn continues to fuel a surge in library use, it has also sparked a disturbing national trend of severe funding cuts for U.S. libraries. Data from the American Library Association’s 2010 State of America’s Library Report shows 41 percent of the states experienced a decline in state funding for public libraries during the current fiscal year. This has been compounded by reductions of funding at the local level – creating a snowball effect that impacts millions of people for whom library service is vital to their lives.

Through “Our Authors, Our Advocates,” one of Stevens’ key presidential initiatives, authors will lend their support for libraries through media interviews, podcasts, public service announcements and other marketing materials. The materials will be free and made available to ALA membership for use at the local level to assist with advocacy efforts.

The 2010 ALA Inaugural Program will feature award-winning children’s author Carmen Agra Deedy (“Martina the Beautiful Cockroach”); multiple Coretta Scott King Book Award medalist Sharon Draper (“Forged by Fire”); New York Times bestselling author Brad Meltzer (“Heroes for My Son”); and author and Washington Post Writer at Large Marie Arana (“Lima Nights”).

Tickets for the event are $89 and can be purchased at Onsite Registration located in the West Lobby of the Washington Convention Center. Tickets are non refundable and will only be available until 4 p.m., Monday, June, 28, 2010.

The American Library Association is the oldest and largest library association in the world, with more than 63,000 members. Its mission is to promote the highest quality library and information services and public access to information.

For more information on the 2010 Annual ALA Conference, please visit the ALA Conference Web site at, or contact ALA Media Relations Manager Macey Morales at (312) 280-4393,, or ALA PR Coordinator Jennifer Petersen at (312) 280-5043,



Macey Morales