National library leaders to discuss top trends, announce best books for youth in Seattle January 19-24

Contacts: Larra Clark/Macey Morales

ALA Media Relations

For Immediate Release

December 18, 2006

National library leaders to discuss top trends, announce best books for youth in Seattle January 19-24

(SEATTLE) Video gaming night?

Podcast U?

Digital collections?

It’s not your grandparents’ library, that’s for sure. Americans go to school, public and college/university libraries 50 percent more often than they go to the movies. Every year they are finding more resources to educate, entertain and expand interaction with their neighbors down the block, as well as the global community.

More than 10,000 librarians, publishers and guests from around the world will converge on Seattle for one of the world’s largest library conference - tackling topics ranging from the future of knowledge to the best books for children and young adults. The American Library Association (ALA) Midwinter Meeting will take place at the Washington State Convention & Trade Center January 19-24.

The conference kicks off with several daylong programs devoted to how libraries are engaging technology to meet the changing needs of teens, scholars and families. Building Teen Communities Online will explore how and why teens interact online and discuss ways libraries can take advantage of free online tools to enhance services to young adults. The program will be followed by a video gaming night. Podcast U will explore how podcasts can translate in the educational sphere and opportunities for libraries to become more deeply engaged on campus through them. And Definitely Digital will discuss scholarship in the digital age, new communication models and digital collections.

"Libraries continue to reinvent themselves - online and in person," said ALA President Leslie Burger. "When libraries are transformed by new services, programs or renovations the communities we serve are in turn transformed."

Technology is not the only transformative element in our nation’s libraries, however. Sharing the power of reading and imagination continue to drive library services in K-12 and public libraries. Dozens of award committees will meet behind closed doors to choose the very best books of the past year for readers of all ages.

The Newbery and Caldecott medals for the best writing and illustration of children’s books published in 2006 will be announced at a press conference on January 22 at 7:45 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 "Dr. Seuss" award for the author and illustrator of an outstanding book for beginning readers. The awards announcement will be online by 10 a.m. PST.

Starting at 4 p.m. Friday, best-selling authors Mercedes Lackey (Heralds Of Valdemar series), R.A. Salvatore (The Dark Elf Trilogy) and Timothy Zahn ("Cascade Point") will discuss the raise in popularity of the science fiction and fantasy genres in a post-9/11 world. Joe Klein, senior writer for Time magazine and author of several best-selling books, will discuss "Islam, Iraq and the War on Terror" at the eighth annual Arthur Curley Memorial Lecture on Saturday at 4 p.m. A self-described "political junkie" with a passion for public policy, Klein appears frequently on "Meet the Press" and "The Chris Matthews Show."

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. 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 15, 2007. Registered media may pickup their credentials in the event Press Office. Media also may register on site, but due to high media volume, advance registration is strongly recommended.