U.S. Senator Obama keynotes American Library Association Annual Conference, June 23-29

Contacts: Larra Clark

ALA Media Relations

For Immediate Release

May 13, 2005

U.S. Senator Obama keynotes American Library Association Annual Conference, June 23-29

(CHICAGO) U.S. Senator Barack Obama keynotes the world's largest gathering of librarians and library staff Saturday, June 25, at the Opening General Session of the American Library Association's Annual Conference in Chicago. “Funding and Privacy – Congress is in your Library” will be the subject of his speech. The event will be held in McCormick Place's North Hall, beginning at 5:30 p.m.

The Chicago-based American Library Association (ALA) will draw more than 20,000 library workers, publishers and guests to its Annual Conference June 23 to 29.

Last fall, Obama (D-Ill.) became only the third black senator since Reconstruction and drew national attention as a keynote speaker for the Democratic National Convention. He spoke for librarians and many others concerned about provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act when he said, “we don't like federal agents poking around our libraries…” Most recently, he also helped open the new Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, Ill.

In the U.S. Senate, Obama serves on the Environment and Public Works Committee, which oversees legislation and funding for the environment and public works projects throughout the country, including the national transportation bill. He also is on the Veterans' Affairs Committee, where he is focused on investigating the disability pay discrepancies that have left thousands of Illinois veterans without the benefits they earned. Obama also will serve on the Foreign Relations Committee.

Obama has dedicated his life to public service as a community organizer, civil rights attorney and leader in the Illinois state Senate. During his seven years in the state Senate, Obama worked to create programs like the state Earned Income Tax Credit, which in three years provided over $100 million in tax cuts to families across the state, and an expansion of early childhood education.

He also is the author of “Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance” published by Random House, which is sponsoring his appearance. In its review, the
Washington Post Book World wrote: “Fluidly, calmly, insightfully, Obama guides us straight to the intersection of the most serious questions of identity, class, and race.”

The event is open to media and registered conference participants. For more information on the ALA 2005 Annual Conference, please visit