ALA to announce children, teen book award winners;discuss library trends at San Antonio conference

Contacts: Larra Clark, Macey Morales

ALA Media Relations

For Immediate Release

December 16, 2005

ALA to announce children, teen book award winners; discuss library trends at San Antonio conference

12,000 librarians, guests to attend; Andrei Codrescu to keynote

(CHICAGO) More than 12,000 librarians, publishers and guests from around the world will converge on the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio January 20-25 for the American Library Association (ALA) Midwinter Meeting. Conference highlights include the announcement of the most prestigious children and young adult book awards, best-selling author readings, and programs on new technology in libraries and education for librarians.

The conference kicks off Friday with a discussion of teens and technology. The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), a division of the ALA, will explore how teen reading, writing and communications are expanding and changing via technologies like IM, blogs and wikis. Participants will explore: how teen gamers are reading, writing, and seeking out information using technology; ethical issues related to teen use of these technologies; and how library workers can incorporate these technologies in their services & programs.

ALA President Michael Gorman will host two programs focused on education for librarians. On Friday afternoon, he will be joined by library practitioners, educators and students for a half-day forum that explores the big issues in library education, including. "What is the nature of the profession of librarianship, and what does the 21st century librarian need to know?"

Then, on Sunday afternoon, he will host author and commentator Andrei Codrescu for a discussion of "The Future Of Our Profession: Educating Tomorrow's Librarians." Codrescu will open the program with reflections on librarians who have had an impact on his life and career, both in his native Romania and his beloved adopted city of New Orleans. Following the keynote address, Gorman will explore key issues in library education. Codrescu will sign copies of his new book "New Orleans, Mon Amour" after the program.

"Library education is at the center of how we fulfill our mission of providing the highest quality services to the students, scholars and lifelong learners who depend on our school, public and academic libraries," Gorman said.

The Newbery and Caldecott medals for the best writing and illustration of children's books published in 2005 will be announced at a press conference on January 23 at 8 a.m. 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, the first-ever "Dr. Seuss" award for the author and illustrator of an outstanding book for beginning readers, and the Pura Belpré Award, honoring Latino writers and illustrators whose work best portrays, affirms and celebrates the Latino cultural experience in a work of literature for youth.

Starting at 4 p.m. Friday, best-selling authors Mark Gimenez ("The Color of Law"), Ron McLarty ("The Memory of Running) and Joni Rodgers ("Bald in the Land of Big Hair") will read. Renowned ragtime pianist and McArthur Foundation "genius grant" recipient Reginald Robinson will play at 4 p.m. Saturday, January 15, as part of the Arthur Curley Memorial Lecture series, which commemorates ALA past president Arthur Curley's 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 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. More information about the ALA Midwinter Meeting can be found online at

For advance media registration, please contact Macey L. Morales at 312-280-4393 before January 13, 2004. Registered media may pickup their credentials in the event Press Office, Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, Level 2. Media also may register on site, but due to high media volume, advance registration is strongly recommended.