Author Angela Shelf Medearis to speak at King observance on January 23, 2006 during ALA's Midwinter Meeting in San Antonio

Satia Marshall Orange

Director, OLOS

For Immediate Release

January 10, 2006

Author Angela Shelf Medearis to speak at King observance on January 23, 2006 during ALA's Midwinter Meeting in San Antonio

CHICAGO - Children's author Angela Shelf Medearis will be the opening speaker at the commemorative sunrise celebration of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday during the American Library Association's (ALA) Midwinter Meeting in San Antonio. The celebration will be held on Monday, January 23, 2006, from 6:30 - 7:30 a.m. in room 1 of the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center.

Presented by the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Task Force Subcommittee of the ALA Social Responsibilities Round Table and the Black Caucus of the American Library Association (BCALA), and sponsored by World Book, Inc., the sunrise celebration will honor the work and life of Dr. King, and will include participants from ALA leadership as well as representatives from several ALA units and affiliates.

Medearis is the founder of BOOK BOOSTERS, INC., a non-profit 501(c)3 organization dedicated to tutoring elementary school children who need a "boost" in their self-esteem and help with their reading. The program is conducted in 23 Austin (Texas) Independent School District after school programs. Medearis' current title, “Just For You! Singing for Dr. King,” published by Scholastic Library Publishing and Trade, will be shared with attendees at the event.

Tracie Hall, director of the ALA Office for Diversity, will make the closing presentation. Hall is the editor of the Office's Diversity's publication,
Versed, and oversees two professional leadership institutes annually.

Representatives from a diversity of ALA committees, round tables and affiliates will read quotes from Dr. King's speeches and writings.

This year marks the 77 th birthday of Dr. King and the twentieth anniversary of the National Holiday in his honor. It is celebrated in some form in more than 100 countries around the world.

Coffee and pastries will be served at the beginning of the program, compliments of World Book, Inc. Music will be provided by the Jenkins Family of San Antonio.

Virginia Moore is chair of the Dr. King Holiday Task force. Andrew Jackson, Jr., president of BCALA, is chair the program. For more information, contact OLOS at or call 800/545-2433 ext. 4294.

The Office for Diversity also administers the Spectrum Initiative, a SLIS scholarship program for students of color.