ALA President's Program to focus on literacy efforts for Native children

Contact: Macey Morales/Jennifer Petersen

ALA PIO Media Relations

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For Immediate Release

May 20, 2008

ALA President's Program to focus on literacy efforts for Native children

(CHICAGO) - As the field of librarianship continues its commitment to serving people of diverse backgrounds, American Library Association (ALA) President Dr. Loriene Roy welcomes an array of presenters to the ALA President’s Program, to be held from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. on June 29 at the Anaheim Convention Center, to discuss literacy efforts for Indigenous children. The program is part of the ALA Annual Conference taking place in Anaheim, Calif., from June 26 to July 2.

This media-rich program will include remarks from claymation artist and author Roy Boney Jr. along with other tribal school educators, who will discuss efforts to support English and Native language literacy programs for Native children. Attendees also will view segments from WGBH-Boston’s “Between the Lions” Head Start Initiative with tribal communities and advance clips from “We Shall Remain,” an American Experience PBS (Public Broadcasting System) series that focuses on the history of American Indian culture. The series is scheduled for release in April 2009.

“Most of today’s libraries provide a wide range of opportunities for people with diverse needs and interests,” said Roy. “This program will offer a forum to share and discuss innovative partnerships that are working toward developing library materials, services and programs for Native children.”

Roy has held a long-standing commitment to developing and promoting library services and cultural heritage initiatives with and for indigenous populations. She founded and directs “If I Can Read, I Can Do Anything,” a national reading club for Native children, and “Honoring Generations,” an IMLS-funded graduate scholarship program for indigenous students. She has written extensively on these and other efforts. She is Anishinabe, enrolled on the White Earth Reservation, a member of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe.

Roy Boney Jr. is a Cherokee illustrator, graphic novelist and animator as well as a Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation Fellow, Sequoyah Research Center, University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Boney’s animated films have screened at film festivals nationally and internationally and have received numerous awards. He has worked with American Indian students to create animated films in Cherokee and Creek languages. Boney is the co-founder of Cherokee Robot, a multimedia company specializing in integrating Native languages and culture with digital media.

The ALA Annual Conference is the largest library gathering in the world, bringing together more than 2,000 meetings, discussion groups, special events, tours and programs on various topics affecting libraries and librarians. For more information on the conference, please visit

The American Library Association is the oldest and largest library association in the world, with more than 65,000 members. Its mission is to promote the highest quality library and information services and public access to information.