May 15-31, 2004 Edition

Librarians, Authors,

Publishers to Discuss

U.S. Library Challenges

CHICAGO/05/10/04—More than 20,000 librarians, educators, writers, publishers and special guests are expected to attend the American Library Association (ALA) Annual Conference, June 24-30, at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla. The conference will feature hundreds of meetings and discussion groups on a range of topics—including library funding cuts, equity of access to library services and materials; the USA PATRIOT Act and its effects on reader’s privacy and early literacy initiatives.

Conference highlights include:

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Taylor Branch; Cheryl Brown Henderson, daughter of the late Reverend Oliver Brown, whose desire to enroll his children in an all-white school led to the landmark Brown v. Board of Education decision; NPR “Talk of the Nation” host Ray Suarez and library leader E.J. Josey will join ALA President Carla Hayden to discuss “Equity: Are We There Yet?” What strides have we made, and where do we go from here? Best-selling authors Mitch Albom (“Tuesdays with Morrie”), E.L. Doctorow (“City of God”) and Carl Hiassen (“Sick Puppy”) will each take the stage over the course of the conference. 2002 Pulitzer Prize winner Diane McWhorter (“A Dream of Freedom”), Sheryill Cashin (“The Failure to Integration”), and Harvard Law professor Charles Ogletree (“All Deliberate Speed”) will share the stage at the Notable Books Breakfast. Winners of the Newbery, Caldecott, Pura Belpré, Coretta Scott King, Margaret Edwards, and Michael Printz youth literature awards will be honored during various celebrations. Kate DiCamillo, Ursula K. Le Guin, Angela Johnson and Mordecai Gerstein—among others—are scheduled to appear. ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom and university and college library panelists will discuss how, in an age of terrorism, academic librarians find themselves in the precarious position of balancing their users’ privacy and confidentiality with national security concerns. Hundreds of exhibits showcasing the latest book releases and library technology trends.

Media interested in Annual Conference press credentials may contact Macey L. Morales, 312-280-4393, For more information on the conference, please visit

The ALA is the oldest and largest library association in the world with over 64,000 members.