For immediate release | April 24, 2023

AASL President’s Program Brings Together “Freedom to Read Ambassadors”

CHICAGO – Kathy Lester, AASL President, will convene a panel of Freedom to Read Ambassadors for a conversation on why it is important for all learners to have access to a wide variety of books and information.

“As school librarians, we know how critical it is for students to have access to a vast collection of information for both academic and personal growth and development,” said Lester. “I am very excited to have such a powerful panel share their views, suggestions, and encouragement with everyone. I hope that we can leave knowing that we are not alone in our fight for the freedom to read and feeling empowered to be partners and ambassadors in our communities to defend first amendment rights for all.”

Lester will be joined by:

  • Becky Calzada, District Library Coordinator in Leander, Texas, and a co-founding member of #FREADom Fighters
  • Dr. Sonja Cherry-Paul, founder of Red Clay Educators and adapter of Stamped (For Kids)
  • Amanda Jones, School Librarian, President of the Louisiana Association of School Librarians, and recipient of AASL’s 2023 Intellectual Freedom Award
  • Kelly Yang, New York Times bestselling author of Front Desk, and winner of the 2019 Asian Pacific American Award for Children’s Literature

AASL’s President Program will be held during ALA’s Annual Conference, June 22-27, 2023, in Chicago, Illinois, on Saturday, June 24, 2023, from 10:00 a.m.- 11:30 a.m.

For more information about this and other AASL programs at the 2023 ALA Annual Conference in Chicago, visit

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


Allison Cline

Deputy Executive Director