For immediate release | July 3, 2012

Booklist editors in conversation with authors Katherine Boo and Christian Kiefer, ALA Virtual Conference

CHICAGO — Back by popular demand as part of the annual ALA Virtual Conference (July 18 and 19, 2012), Booklist editors Brad Hooper and Donna Seaman will host 30-minute author lunches, interviewing popular and thought-provoking authors Katherine Boo and Christian Kiefer.

Katherine Boo is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author known primarily for writing about America’s poor and disadvantaged. A staff writer at The New Yorker, her most recent book is the acclaimed “Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity.” The book is described as “a landmark work of narrative nonfiction that tells the dramatic and sometimes heartbreaking story of families striving toward a better life in one of the twenty-first century’s great, unequal cities. . . . Based on three years of uncompromising reporting, a bewildering age of global change and inequality is made human.” Boo’s self-deprecating, insightful approach to her work will make for an unmissable conversation with Hooper on Wednesday, July 18.

An active poet, songwriter and recording artist, Christian Kiefer has just published his first novel, “The Infinite Tides,” described in a Publisher’s Weekly review as an “astute, impressive, and ambitious debut." Kiefer will speak about the novel and other topics with Seaman on Thursday, July 19. “The Infinite Tides” is a portrait of a man clearly on the autism spectrum, but not a stereotypically dysfunctional savant. Lyrical and intensely believable, the book is thought-provoking and honest and includes some beautiful descriptions of space exploration and mathematics. Kiefer is on the English faculty of American River College in Sacramento, Calif.

These authors complement well the Virtual Conference theme “Mapping Transformation.” The conference offers two days of interactive Web sessions, conversations and insights from experts, highlighting how new services are transforming both libraries and communities. Sessions offer starting points for discussion as well as practical ideas for experimenting, moving forward and trying something new.

In addition to the author lunches, speakers and topics on July 18 and 19 include:

George Needham & Joan Frye Williams: Libraries In a Post-Print World;

Stephen Abram: Mirages, Maps, Menus, Flowcharts, and Dreams;

Marie Ostergard: Mediaspace: Transforming the Library of the Future;

Lee Rainie: The State of eBook Borrowing from Libraries;

Brian Mathews: Thinking Entrepreneurially: What Libraries Can Learn from Startups and Other Innovative Organizations;

James LaRue: Moving Upstream: From Distributor to Co-Creator;

Marlene Harris: Beyond the Bestseller List: Filling Patron Demand for Great eBooks Without the “Big 6 Publishers;”

Peter Murray: Introducing FOSS4Lib: Helping Libraries Decide IF and WHICH Open Source Software Is Right for Them;

Terry Ballard: Using Google Products to Enhance Your Library’s Mission and Branding;

Emily Dowdall: One-Stop Center: The Multiple Roles of the Public Library, Today and Tomorrow;

Steven Bell: Start With a “Way We Serve Statement:” Design a Library User Experience the Way the Pros Do;

Sacramento Public Library: I Street Press Project;

Allen County Public Library: Making Our Future: The ACPL-TekVenture Maker Station Community Collaboration.

2012 ALA Annual Conference registrants get a 25 percent discount on Virtual Conference registration–which is recommended for making the most of the interactivity and conversations and taking full advantage of one of the best bargains in continuing education in the library world today. Individual and group rates are available.As an added benefit, the archive of ALA Virtual Conference will be available free to registrants for up to six months, and also free after the event to all full registrants of ALA Annual Conference.

Register now (individual and group rates are available) for innovation and inspiration!

Related Links

Register now for 2012 ALA Virtual Conference (individual and group rates are available) for innovation and inspiration!


Mary Mackay

Director, Marketing

American Library Association

800-545-2433 ext.1532