For immediate release | February 7, 2012

Flake, Myracle, Otsuka join Joint Conference of Librarians of Color

CHICAGO – Award-winning and best-selling authors Sharon Flake, Lauren Myracle and Julie Otsuka will join the Joint Conference of Librarians of Color for two special author luncheons, Sept. 19-23, 2012 in Kansas City, Mo.

The Joint Conference of Librarians of Color is a conference for everyone and brings together a diverse group of librarians, library staff, library supporters and community participants to explore issues of diversity in libraries and how they affect the ethnic communities that libraries serve. Under the theme “Gathering at the Waters: Celebrating Stories and Embracing Communities,” JCLC deepens connections across constituencies, creates spaces for dialogue on issues of diversity and encourages the transformation of libraries into more democratic and diverse organizations. For more information about the Joint Conference of Librarians of Color, please visit

Sharon Flake exploded onto the literary scene in 1998 with "The Skin I’m In" and was named a Publisher’s Weekly "Flying Start." Since then, she has become a multiple Coretta Scott King Book Award winner and has been hailed as the voice of middle-grade youth and a "Rising Star" by The Bulletin. Sharon’s books consistently receive ALA Notable and Best Books for Young Adults citations. Her upcoming book, "Takedown," is a powerful novel about two teens, each one struggling with their disabilities. Told in alternating voices, "Takedown" explores issues of self-discovery, friendship and what it means to be different.

Lauren Myracle is the author of the New York Times best-selling Internet Girls Trilogy — "ttyl, "ttfn" and "l8r, g8r" — "Rhymes with Witches," "Bliss" and her latest novel, "Shine." In 2009 Myracle held the #1 position on the ALA’s most challenged book list. Myracle is an advocate for intellectual freedom and has addressed librarians, teachers and students across the country about the importance of keeping books accessible to kids.

Julie Otsuka is the author of the novel "When the Emperor was Divine" and a recipient of the Asian American Literary Award, the American Library Association’s Alex Award and a Guggenheim Fellowship. Her recent novel, "The Buddha in the Attic," is a Library Journal Top Ten of 2011 title, a New York Times Notable Book of 2011 and was a finalist for the 2011 National Book Award for Fiction.

JCLC will provide a unique opportunity for learning with more than 70 concurrent sessions, including panel discussions, presentations, workshops and roundtables. Programming is divided into five tracks — Advocacy, Outreach and Collaboration; Collections, Programs and Services; Deep Diversity and Cultural Exchange; Leadership, Management and Organizational Development; and Technology and Innovation. Three pre-conferences will provide more focused exploration of diversity leadership development, diversity action pans and advocacy in diverse communities.

Registration and Housing for the Joint Conference of Librarians of Color will open March 1, 2012.

The Joint Conference of Librarians of Color is sponsored by the five ethnic caucuses: American Indian Library Association (AILA), Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association (APALA), Black Caucus of the American Library Association (BCALA), Chinese American Librarians Association (CALA) and National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish Speaking (REFORMA). The first Joint Conference was held in Dallas in 2006. More information may be found at

Sharon Flake’s participation is made possible through the generous support of Scholastic. Scholastic is the world’s largest publisher and distributor of children's books and a leader in educational technology. Fiction, non-fiction and reference materials include products published under the prestigious imprints Grolier, Children’s Press®, Franklin Watts®, Grolier Online®, BookFlix®, TrueFlix™, Weston Woods®, Scholastic Trade and Scholastic Audio. For more information about Scholastic, please visit

Lauren Myracle’s participation is made possible through the generous support of Abrams Books. Founded by Harry N. Abrams in 1949, ABRAMS is the preeminent publisher of high quality art and illustrated books and best-sellers such as the wildly popular The Diary of a Wimpy Kid series by Jeff Kinney. ABRAMS publishes books in the areas of art, photography, cooking, interior design, craft, fashion, sports, pop culture, as well as children’s books and general interest. For more information about Abrams Book, please visit

Julie Otsuka’s participation is made possible through the generous support of Random House, Inc. Random House is the world's largest English-language general trade book publisher and includes an army of prestigious imprints and distribution lines, publishing some of the foremost writers of our time. For more information about Random House, please visit


Miguel Figueroa