For immediate release | April 4, 2024

World champion gymnast and author Maggie Nichols and award-winning journalist and author Ali Velshi to present at ALA 2024 Annual Conference & Exhibition in San Diego

CHICAGO — Today, the American Library Association (ALA) announced two speakers that 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.

Ali Velshi is an award-winning journalist; host of "Velshi and Chief Correspondent for MSNBC;" and a weekly economics contributor to NPR’s "Here And Now." He hosts the “Velshi Banned Book Club” on MSNBC, and the “Velshi Banned Book Club” podcast. He has covered multiple U.S. Midterm and Presidential elections and significant news stories around the globe, including extensive reporting from Israel during the war with Hamas, Ukraine and across Central and Eastern Europe during the Russian invasion, the Syrian refugee crisis from Turkey and Jordan, the Iran Nuclear Deal in Tehran, and the Greek debt crisis in Athens. Velshi is known for his immersive on-the-ground reporting and his interactive discussions with small groups, which form part of his ongoing series, "Velshi Across America." He previously worked as an anchor and correspondent for Al Jazeera America and CNN.

Velshi will discuss his new book "Small Acts of Courage: A Legacy of Endurance and the Fight for Democracy," available May 2024. Velshi taps into 125 years of family history to advocate for social justice as a living, breathing experience—a way of life more than an ideology. He relates the stories of regular people who made a lasting commitment to fight for change, even when success seemed impossible. It is a heartfelt exploration of how we can breathe new life into the principles of pluralistic democracy, an urgent call to action—for progress to be possible, we must all do whatever we can to make a difference.

Maggie Nichols is a five-time National Team Member on the US Gymnastics team, a World Champion and World Bronze Medalist, six-time individual National Champion, and NCAA Women's Gymnastics Champion. She will join us to discuss her official memoir, "Unstoppable!," available now. The inspirational tell-all, with an introduction written by Simone Biles, offers an intimate look into the world of elite gymnastics, the sexual abuse scandal that shattered lives and dreams, and how she risked everything in the name of justice. She now tells this story in her own words: a story of hope, trauma, reclamation, and above all, triumph.

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 650+ 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 makerspaces 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.

Visit the preliminary Conference Scheduler, with education and President & Chair programs, Ticketed Events, Featured Speakers, and Exhibitors. 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

Conference Services