For immediate release | June 15, 2021

2022-23 ALA President Lessa Pelayo-Lozada to moderate United for Libraries Gala Author Tea, sponsored by Data Axle Reference Solutions, at ALA Annual

EXTON, Pennsylvania — Lauren Groff, Jeffrey Archer, Josh Ritter, Courttia Newland, and Ryka Aoki will be the featured authors at the United for Libraries Gala Author Tea, sponsored by Data Axle Reference Solutions, at 12:15 p.m. CT Thursday, June 24 at the 2021 ALA Annual Conference & Exhibitions (Virtual).

This event will be presented live during the conference. 2022-23 ALA President Lessa Pelayo-Lozada will moderate. Attendees are invited to enjoy their beverage of choice while hearing authors discuss their writing lives and forthcoming books.

Lauren Groff (“Matrix,” Riverhead Books/Penguin Random House) is the author of six books of fiction. Her work has won The Story Prize, the ABA Indies’ Choice Award, and France’s Grand Prix de l’Héroïne, was twice a finalist for the National Book Award for Fiction and the Kirkus Prize, and was shortlisted for the National Book Critics Circle Prize, the Southern Book Prize, and the Los Angeles Times Prize. She has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, and was named one of Granta’s Best of Young American Novelists. Her work has been translated into more than 30 languages.

Now published in 97 countries and more than 33 languages, Jeffrey Archer (“Over My Dead Body,” HarperCollins),” is firmly established as one of the world’s bestselling authors, with international sales passing 275 million copies. He is the only author ever to have been a number one bestseller in fiction (19 times), short stories (four times) and non-fiction.

Josh Ritter (“The Great Glorious Goddamn of it All,” Hanover Square Press/Harlequin) is an American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and author who performs and records with The Royal City Band (as Josh Ritter & The Royal City Band). Ritter is known for his distinctive Americana style and narrative lyrics. In 2006 he was named one of the "100 Greatest Living Songwriters" by Paste magazine.

Courttia Newland's (“A River Called Time,” Akashic Books) first novel, “The Scholar,” was published in 1997. Further critically acclaimed work includes “Society Within,” “Snakeskin,” and many others. He is co-editor of “IC3: The Penguin Book of New Black Writing in Britain” and has short stories featured in many anthologies. His career has encompassed both screen and playwriting; he has been nominated for the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, the CWA Dagger in the Library Award, the Alfred Fagon Award, the Frank O’ Conner Award and The Edge Hill Prize 2012.

Ryka Aoki (“Light from Uncommon Stars,” Tor Books/Macmillan) is a poet, composer, and teacher and author of "Seasonal Velocities," "He Mele a Hilo (A Hilo Song)," "Why Dust Shall Never Settle Upon This Soul" and "The Great Space Adventure." Her next novel, “Light from Uncommon Stars,” is will be released in September 2021. Her work has appeared or been recognized in Vogue, Elle, Publisher’s Weekly, Bustle, Autostraddle, PopSugar, The Daily Dot, The Guardian, Buzzfeed, The San Francisco Bay Times, and the Huffington Post.

For more information on United for Libraries events and programs at the ALA Annual Conference, visit For information about registering for the conference, visit

United for Libraries: The Association of Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends and Foundations, is a division of the American Library Association with approximately 4,000 personal and group members representing hundreds of thousands of library supporters. United for Libraries supports those who govern, promote, advocate, and fundraise for libraries, and brings together library trustees, advocates, friends, and foundations into a partnership that creates a powerful force for libraries in the 21st century. To join, please visit or call (800) 545-2433, ext. 2161.

Data Axle Reference Solutions (formerly ReferenceUSA) is a powerful online reference and research tool providing library cardholders instant, real-time access to accurate, in-depth information on U.S. businesses (59 million) and U.S. residents (310 million). Reference Solutions makes it faster and easier to find new business opportunities, research executives and companies, find news articles, conduct job searches, research papers, locate addresses and phone numbers, conduct market research and much more.


Trish McFadden

Program Coordinator

United for Libraries