Coach Carter to deliver keynote address at AASL National Conference in Pittsburgh, October 6-9

Contact: Larra Clark

AASL Media Relations


For Immediate Release

September 29, 2005

Coach Carter to deliver keynote address

at AASL National Conference in Pittsburgh, October 6-9

CHICAGO - Coach Ken Carter, the subject of the recent movie "Coach Carter" starring Samuel L. Jackson, will keynote the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) 12th National Conference in Pittsburgh, October 6 to 9.

This nationally famous high school basketball coach, community activist and motivational speaker will kick off one of the largest school library conferences to date - with record-setting pre-registration, a sold-out exhibit floor and more than 100 educational programs. He will speak at the Opening General Session, 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. October 6, at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center. He replaces actor LeVar Burton, who canceled due to a scheduling conflict. the program is sponsored by Thomson Gale.

Coach Carter made national news when he locked out his undefeated varsity basketball team in order to push them to improve their grades. Carter not only closed the Richmond (Calif.) High School gym, but he banned all basketball-related activities and was prepared to cancel the entire season, because 15 of the 45 players were not living up to the classroom achievements they agreed to meet in contracts they signed earlier in the semester. He made it clear to his team that academic achievement comes first.

Carter has a solid record as a community and youth activist, going to great lengths to advocate for education and to stand up for school funding in California. Using only a kick scooter, Carter traveled for three days to Sacramento in October 2000, hoping to raise awareness of the deteriorating state of Richmond schools and the need for students, parents, teachers and school board officials to commit to making a difference. The education community has recognized his efforts with the Harvard Club's Distinguished Secondary Educator Award and the California State Lottery/Governor Gray Davis' Heroes in Education Award. Nationally, Carter is a recipient of the NAACP's Impact Citizen of the Year Award.

The AASL National Conference expects to welcome nearly 4,000 librarians to Pittsburgh and will feature author events with award-winning young adult novelists Chris Crutcher and Jerry Spinelli, information-packed preconferences, tours of Pittsburgh-area schools and more. For more information, visit the AASL National Conference Web site at

The American Association of School Librarians, a division of the American Library Association (ALA), promotes the improvement and extension of library media services in elementary and secondary schools as a means of strengthening the total education program. Its mission is to advocate excellence, facilitate change and develop leaders in the school library media field.