For immediate release | April 25, 2024

Academy Award-nominated actor, mental health advocate, and author Taraji P. Henson to present at ALA 2024 Annual Conference & Exhibition in San Diego

CHICAGO — Today, the American Library Association (ALA) announced that Academy Award-nominated actor, producer, author, and mental health advocate Taraji P. Henson will present at the ALA 2024 Annual Conference & Exhibition. The conference will be held at the San Diego Convention Center and surrounding hotels in San Diego, California, June 27-July 2, 2024.

Henson joins ALA Annual to discuss her new book, “You Can Be a Good Friend (No Matter What!).” The debut picture book, illustrated by Paul Kellam, and available June 24, 2024, promotes mental wellness, learning socialization skills, embracing the importance of standing in your own uniqueness, and promoting friendship over bullying. It’s the perfect read for easing back-to-school jitters for the new school year, helping children (ages 4-8) overcome anxieties, and classroom/library story time and bedtime reading.

In 2018, Henson, and her best friend, Tracie Jade Jenkins, co-founded the Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation (BLHF) honoring the legacy of Henson’s father, Boris Lawrence Henson, who battled untreated mental health issues after returning from the Vietnam War. Motivated by their own experiences and the glaring absence of culturally relevant mental health support, they took a bold step forward and established BLHF with a clear mission: to destigmatize mental health within the Black community and enhance accessibility. The foundation promotes mental health awareness and provides resources and services aimed at tackling the mental health crisis.

ALA Annual Registration is open.

The 2024 ALA Annual Conference & Exhibition invites library professionals from around the world to engage in a variety of professional development opportunities, including the ALA President’s Program with ALA President Emily Drabinski; ALA division, chair, and round table sessions that will focus on the important topics and challenges that libraries face today; ALA leadership programs, ALA Governance sessions, and more. The event will host 175+ education programs, 700+ speakers/authors, and 470+ exhibitors.

The Library Marketplace will feature exhibitors showcasing innovative products, services, and titles; publishers that will host established and new authors on nine live stages; “Meet the Authors” and the “Autographing Area” allowing opportunities for attendees to chat with authors and have books signed; e-zine and maker spaces for creative projects; the Podcast Recording Booth, where authors will record podcasts, free advanced reading copies of books, The Beach @ ALA, and additional fun activities.

The ALA JobLIST Placement and Career Development Center will offer career coaching, Mentoring on the Fly, an Open House and Job Fair, photography services, resume reviews, and career guidance workshops.

San Diego is the 2024 ALA Annual host city and offers beautiful outdoor landscapes and weather, museums, restaurants, the San Diego Central Library, and other fun places to visit.

ALA Registrants are now able to build their personalized schedules in the Conference Scheduler. More sessions and activities will be added soon.

Get updates from the 2024 Annual Conference & Exhibition and follow #ALAAC24 and social media at ALA Twitter/X, ALA Conferences Twitter/X, ALA Facebook, and Instagram.

Media interested in registering for the session may contact the ALA Communications and Marketing Office at

About the American Library Association
The American Library Association (ALA) is the foremost national organization providing resources to inspire library and information professionals to transform their communities through essential programs and services. For more than 140 years, the ALA has been the trusted voice for academic, public, school, government and special libraries, advocating for the profession and the library’s role in enhancing learning and ensuring access to information for all. For more information, visit


Donna Hunter

Conference Marketing Specialist

American Library Association

Conference Services