More than 10,000 librarians, supporters to attend ALA Midwinter Meeting

Contacts: Macey Morales/ Jennifer Petersen

ALA Media Relations

312-280-4393 / 5043
For Immediate Release

January 8, 2007

More than 10,000 librarians, supporters to

attend ALA Midwinter Meeting

(CHICAGO) - More than 10,000 librarians, library supporters, publishers and guests from around the world will converge on the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia from January 11 to 16, for the American Library Association (ALA) Midwinter Meeting. Such issues as users’ privacy, censorship, new technology and library funding will be at the forefront of many discussions.

“As the world changes around us, libraries must be prepared to offer programs and services that mirror the needs of their communities,” said ALA President Loriene Roy. “The ALA Midwinter Meeting will provide an opportunity for library professionals to exchange ideas on how to safeguard access to information, and undertake the many challenges that threaten library service.”

The conference, which has approximately 2,500 meeting and events scheduled, kicks off with several programs on Jan. 11 that will focus on how libraries are engaging technology to meet the changing needs of their users. Programming will include how to better serve those interested in tracing family ties via the Web with "Behind the Genealogy Reference Desk: From Birthplace of a Nation to the Digital Age," 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and how to improve teen literacy through online gaming with “Gaming Extravaganza,” 8 to 10 p.m.

The ALA Washington Office will host a discussion on National Security Letters during its Washington Update on Saturday, January 12, 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., with Bassem Youssef, the highest ranking Arab-American agent employed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Tom Susman, partner, Ropes & Gray LLP, will also discuss the effect of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) on libraries, followed by a session entitled, “What the FCC is up to, and what it has to do with your library.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the NBA’s all-time leading scorer and a prolific author, will be the keynote speaker for the ALA’s President’s Program on Sunday, January, 13, from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. Abdul-Jabbar will discuss why libraries are important to communities, how the Harlem Renaissance has influenced his life and his new audio book “On the Shoulders of Giants.”

Jazz violinist Regina Carter will perform as part of the Arthur Curley Memorial Lecture series on Saturday, January 12, at 1:30 p.m. Over the past seven years, Ms. Carter and her group have brought audiences to their feet with exhilarating performances worldwide. Ms. Carter is a recipient of the highly esteemed MacArthur Fellowship, which is given to individuals who have shown extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative pursuits.

The ALA’s Youth Media Awards will take place on Monday, January 14 at 7:45 a.m.. Deemed the Academy Awards of children’s literature, more than 1,000 librarians will be on the edge of their seats to hear the winners of the Newbery, Caldecott, Coretta Scott King, Printz and Schneider Family book awards. Recognized worldwide for the high quality they represent, the awards guide parents, educators, librarians and others in selecting the best materials for youth.

The announcement of the Youth Media Awards is so popular that the ALA will offer a free Webcast, so that those that are not able to attend the program will be able to view the award announcements live via the Web. Those interested in logging on can visit the morning of the announcements. There will be a limited amount of cyber seats, so access to the Webcast will be on a first-come first-serve basis.

The Midwinter Meeting also will offer more than 800 exhibit booths that will feature the latest and best in services and technology for today’s library users. The exhibit floor 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 .

Registered media may pick up their credentials in the ALA Press Office and non-registered media may register onsite. For information on ALA’s press credential policy, please visit