Librarian of Congress Dr. Carla Hayden to moderate a conversation with former First Lady Michelle Obama at the ALA Annual Conference & Exhibition

For Immediate Release
Tue, 06/05/2018


Paul Graller

Conference Director

Conference Services

CHICAGO - On Friday, June 22, 2018, Librarian of Congress Dr. Carla Hayden will moderate a conversation with former First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama during the Opening General Session of the 2018 ALA Annual Conference & Exhibition. This session will take place at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans from 4– 5:30 pm. Media wishing to attend the event must request press credentials in advance by contacting: Macey Morales, deputy director, ALA Communications and Marketing Office, at 312-280-4393 or prior to June 20.

The Opening General Session will feature a performance by Trombone Shorty and students from his foundation followed by ALA President Jim Neal’s presentation of key ALA Awards. Dr. Hayden and Mrs. Obama will end the program with an in-depth conversation around Mrs. Obama’s forthcoming memoir, BECOMING (Crown Publishing Group, November 13, 2018), and the experiences that have impacted her life, her family, and the country. For more information about BECOMING, please visit

Dr. Hayden was sworn in as the 14th Librarian of Congress in September 2016. She is the first woman and the first African American to lead the national library. She was nominated to the position by President Barack Obama in February 2016 and her nomination was confirmed by the U.S. Senate in July 2016. Prior to her current post, she served as CEO of the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore. She was nominated by President Obama to be a member of the National Museum and Library Services Board in 2010 and confirmed by the U.S. Senate later that year. She began her career with the Chicago Public Library and served as President of the American Library Association (2003-2004). Hayden received a BA from Roosevelt Library, and an MA and PhD from the Graduate Library School of the University of Chicago. 

Mrs. Obama’s highly-anticipated memoir, BECOMING will be published in the U.S. and Canada on November 13, 2018, by the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House. BECOMING will also be published in 25 languages around the world. Considered one of the most popular First Ladies of recent times, Mrs. Obama in her book invites readers into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her—from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work, to her time spent at the world’s most famous address. With unerring honesty and lively wit, she describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private, telling her full story as she has lived it – in her own words and on her own terms.  Warm, wise, and revelatory BECOMING is an unusually intimate reckoning from a woman of soul and substance who has steadily defied expectations—and whose story inspires us to do the same.

Michelle Obama has described writing BECOMING as “a deeply personal experience. It has allowed me, for the very first time, the space to honestly reflect on the unexpected trajectory of my life. I hope my journey inspires readers to find the courage to become whoever they aspire to be. I can’t wait to share my story.”

Dr. Carla Hayden’s appearance is sponsored by the Library of Congress.

Michelle Obama’s appearance at the conference is sponsored by Penguin Random House.

If you need help in making your case to attend, these resources can help.

Ways to stay in touch and get updates include: Annual Conference websiteTwitter @alaac and  #alaac18) Facebook EventsPinterestYouTube, and Instagram.

About the American Library Association
The American Library Association (ALA) is the foremost national organization providing resources to inspire library and information professionals to transform their communities through essential programs and services. For more than 140 years, the ALA has been the trusted voice for academic, public, school, government and special libraries, advocating for the profession and the library’s role in enhancing learning and ensuring access to information for all. For more information, visit

About the Library of Congress
The Library of Congress is the world’s largest library, offering access to the creative record of the United States - and extensive materials from around the world - both on site and online. It is the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office.  Explore collections, reference services and other programs and plan a visit at, access the official site for U.S. federal legislative information at and register creative works of authorship at

About Penguin Random House
Penguin Random House, the world’s largest trade book publisher, is dedicated to its mission of nourishing a universal passion for reading by connecting authors and their writing with readers everywhere. The company, which employs 10,000 people globally, was formed on July 1, 2013, by Bertelsmann and Pearson, who own 75 percent and 25 percent, respectively. With more than 250 independent imprints and brands on five continents, Penguin Random House comprises adult and children’s fiction and nonfiction print and digital English- and Spanish-language trade book publishing businesses in more than 20 countries worldwide. With 15,000 new titles, and 600 million print, audio and eBooks sold annually, Penguin Random House’s publishing lists include more than 60 Nobel Prize laureates and hundreds of the world’s most widely read authors.