ALA to Announce Newbery, Caldecott winners; discusses Internet access in libraries

Contact: Larra Clark or Macey Morales


For Immediate Release

December 2003

American Library Association to announce Newbery, Caldecott winners; discusses Internet access in libraries

10,000 librarians to attend San Diego conference; speakers to include authors Richard Rodriguez, Bertice Berry, Ángeles Mastretta

Some 10,000 librarians from around the world will gather January 9-14 in San Diego for the American Library Association’s (ALA) Midwinter Meeting. Highlights include the announcement of the most prestigious children’s book awards, a best-selling authors forum and timely discussions of topics ranging from Internet access in libraries to copyright to the USA PATRIOT Act.

In a highly topical program, ALA President Carla Hayden will discuss "Living in a Post-CIPA World" with a panel of distinguished speakers from the private and public sectors on Sunday, January 11, 3 to 5 p.m. Now that the Supreme Court has rendered a verdict on the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA), many librarians and communities are faced with the reality of complying with this decision. The panelists will discuss the impact this far-reaching Supreme Court decision has had on libraries and information and its implications for equity in the Information Age. They also will examine issues relating to compliance, library/industry relations, possible legal challenges, future legislative actions and public policy concerns.

"Equity of access is a core value of the library profession and the ALA, and we must be clear that installing filters that block access to safe and legal information deepens the digital divide between those who have Internet access at home, work or school and those who ‘have not,’" Hayden said. "Public libraries are the main access point for millions of Americans who do not otherwise have access to the wide world of information available online, and we must ensure that libraries continue to serve all people equally."

The Newbery and Caldecott Medals for the best writing and illustration of children’s books published in 2003 will be announced at a press conference on January 12 at 8:45 a.m. PST. Other award winners to be announced include the Printz Award for literary excellence in books for young adults, the Coretta Scott King Awards for the best books representing the African-American experience for children, and the Pura Belpre Award to a Latino/Latina writer and illustrator whose work best portrays, affirms, and celebrates the Latino cultural experience in an outstanding work of literature for youth.

Other featured programs include a Best-Selling Authors Forum with Bertice Berry, Ph.D., inspirational speaker and author of four non-fiction and three fiction books, including the most recent "Jim & Louella’s Homemade Heart-Fix Remedy," and Ángeles Mastretta, author of Mazatlan Prize for Literative winner "Arráncame La Vida (Tear This Heart Out)," on Friday, January 9; author and essayist Richard Rodriguez presenting "The Color Brown, and the Meaning of the Library" as the topic for the fifth annual Arthur Curley Memorial Lecture on Saturday, January 10; and a special sunrise commemoration honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., with KGTV’s Herb Cawthorne speaking Monday, January 12.

The Arthur Curley Memorial Lecture series is delivered each year at the ALA Midwinter Meeting and honors ALA past president Arthur Curley. The lecture series commemorates his lifelong dedication to the principles of intellectual freedom, public access to information and public advocacy for libraries.

More than 425 exhibits will feature the latest and best in services and technology for today’s library users. The exhibit hall will be open Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Monday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. A technology showcase will take place Monday from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. More information about the ALA Midwinter Meeting can be found online at under Events and Conferences.

For advance media registration, please call Macey L. Morales at 312-280-4393 before December 30. The on-site press room in the San Diego Convention Center will open Friday, January 9, at 8 a.m., and will be open 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Monday, January 12. Call the press room at 619-525-6228.