LIBRARIES ARE ESSENTIAL

MAY 24, 2022

11:00 AM – 5:00 PM EDT

SPONSORED BY
OverDrive

The 2022 U.S. Book Show is free for librarians and will highlight the essential work of libraries.

With the second annual Libraries Are Essential program, the U.S. Book Show once again acknowledges a simple fact: America’s libraries are more than just a key marketplace for publishers and authors, they are bedrock institutions, anchors in our communities, vital to the health of our democracy and society, and crucial to our reading and literary cultures.

The 2022 Libraries Are Essential program will run from 11 AM to 5:00 PM ET on May 24. The program will be presented in two blocks, separated by a lunchtime program, featuring an array of voices and perspectives from the library community.

The morning session will explore the rise of book banning, misinformation, educational gag orders, and other legislation targeting the work of public and school libraries across the nation. The afternoon session will focus on the post-pandemic future of libraries, including issues of worker and public safety, digital equity issues, and library leadership. The program will conclude with a keynote U.S. Congressman from Maryland Jamie Raskin, author of the #1 New York Times bestselling book Unthinkable: Trauma, Truth, and the Trials of American Democracy

And for a special bonus session, join us on Wednesday evening, May 25 (6:45–8:00 PM ET) for a very special library-themed live session of the wildly popular Friends & Fiction author group.

11:00 AM – 1:00 PM ET PROGRAM I

OPENING REMARKS

Andrew Richard Albanese
Andrew Richard Albanese
PW senior writer Andrew Richard Albanese leads the magazine’s library coverage. Albanese has covered the publishing and information technology fields for more than 22 years and is a former associate editor of American history at Oxford University Press, a former editor at Library Journal, and author of The Battle of $9.99: How Apple, Amazon and the Big Six Publishers Changed the E-book Business Overnight.
Sari Feldman
Sari Feldman
PW columnist Sari Feldman is the former executive director of the Cuyahoga County Public Library in Cleveland and a past president of both the Public Library Association (2009–2010) and the American Library Association (2015–2016). She is currently an ALA policy fellow focusing on digital library policy.

Special Guests:

Patty Wong
Patty Wong

Patricia (Patty) Wong is a city librarian of Santa Clara, California. Wong is president of the American Library Association (ALA), with her term set to conclude in June at the 2022 Annual Conference in Washington D.C. Wong has worked as a school librarian, children’s librarian, cataloger, and special librarian and has held numerous leadership roles in public libraries.

Lessa Pelayo-Lozada
Lessa Kanani’opua Pelayo-Lozada

Lessa Kanani’opua Pelayo-Lozada is an adult services assistant manager at the Palos Verdes Library District in Southern California, and president-elect of the American Library Association. Lessa will begin her term at the 2022 Annual Conference in Washington D.C. in June. She has worked as a clerk, children’s librarian, teen librarian, and adult services librarian and is currently executive director of the Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association.

Deborah Caldwell Stone
Deborah Caldwell Stone
Deborah Caldwell Stone is the director of the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom, where she leads projects addressing censorship and privacy issues in the library.
Jon Friedman
Jonathan Friedman
Jonathan Friedman is the director of free expression and education at PEN America, where he oversees advocacy, analysis, and outreach concerning educational communities and academic institutions.

Discussion: Once More for Those in the Back—Libraries Are NOT Neutral!

In a February New York Times editorial, conservative opinion writer Stanley Kurtz took to task the efforts of what he called “woke” librarians and pleaded for a return to “neutrality” in libraries. What Kurtz got wrong, however, is that libraries are not–and have never been–neutral. In this discussion, a group of library educators will explain how a fundamental mischaracterization of library neutrality is being used to justify book bans, and other harmful legislation cross the country and will offer a better understanding of how–and why–libraries must stand up for diversity, equity, and inclusion in their communities.
Nicole A. Cooke
Nicole A. Cooke

Nicole A. Cooke is the Augusta Baker Endowed Chair and an associate professor at the University of South Carolina. Cooke was awarded the ALA’s Equality award in 2016 and was the 2019 ALISE Excellence in Teaching Award recipient. She has edited and authored several books, including Fake News and Alternative Facts: Information Literacy in a Post-truth Era (ALA Editions, 2018).

Renate Chancellor
Renate Chancellor
Renate Chancellor is the chair and associate professor in the Department of Library and Information Science at The Catholic University of America. Her work focuses on equity, human information behavior–particularly in legal environments–and diversity and social justice in Library and Information Science. Her book E. J. Josey: Transformational Leader of the Modern Library Profession, was released in 2020.
Yasmeen Shorish
Yasmeen Shorish
Yasmeen Shorish is an associate professor at the James Madison University Libraries. Much of her research focuses on the “curatorial and educational activities that make that data available for further study” and the relationship between information access and power and privilege, as well as the democratizing potential of information access.

Moderated by: Andrew Richard Albanese

Discussion: The Politicization of Libraries

With the alarming rise of book bans and other legislation, it’s clear that libraries and schools have now been drawn into our fractious culture wars. In this frank discussion, a group of politically savvy public advocates will break down the organized political movement now targeting America’s schools and libraries–and will explore how libraries and library supporters can push back.
John Chrastka
John Chrastka

John Chrastka is the executive director and founder of EveryLibrary, the only national political action committee for libraries. Chrastka and EveryLibrary work each election season to support dozens of local ballot initiatives in communities across the nation.

Donald Cohen
Donald Cohen

Donald Cohen is the founder and executive director of In the Public Interest, a national nonprofit research and policy organization that studies public goods and services. Cohen is the author, with Allen Mikaelian, of The Privatization of Everything: How the Plunder of Public Goods Transformed America and How We Can Fight Back (New Press).

Caroline Richardson
Caroline Richmond

Caroline Richmond is the award-winning author of numerous books and executive director of We Need Diverse Books, a nonprofit that advocates for diversity in children’s literature.

Moderated by: Andrew Richard Albanese

Interview: R. David Lankes

From Russia’s brutal attack on Ukraine to efforts in America to undermine our elections, information and information access are drawing increasing scrutiny. In his 2021 book, Forged in War: How a Century of War Created Today’s Information Society (Rowman & Littlefield), author and library educator R. David Lankes offers a timely exploration of how today’s information world was forged by conflict, how propaganda and misinformation are becoming a crucial new battlefield in the age of social media, and why it’s time to rethink our knowledge infrastructure.
R. David Lankes
R. David Lankes

R. David Lankes is an award-winning author and passionate advocate for librarians and their essential role in today’s society. Lankes is the Virginia & Charles Bowden Professor of Librarianship at the University of Texas at Austin’s School of Information.

Lunch (By the Numbers)

Take a short break, grab yourself a sandwich, and come back to dig in with two lunchtime presentations that will offer a data-driven look at how digital media consumption habits are evolving.

First up, digital library service provider OverDrive will provide some anonymized, never before shared data on digital reading trends in libraries and schools. Next up, Portland State University researchers will share their latest 2022 survey research on Gen Z and Millennial media behavior, joined by inclusive marketing expert Sonia Thompson, who advises libraries how to better serve Gen Z and Millennials.

Steve Potash
Steve Potash
Steve Potash is a pioneer in the digital library market and the founder and CEO of OverDrive, the world’s leading library digital library service provider which includes the award-winning Libby and Sora reading apps.
Kathi Inman Berens
Kathi Inman Berens
Kathi Inman Berens is an author, researcher, and associate professor of Book Publishing and Digital Humanities at Portland State University.
Dr. Rachel Noorda
Rachel Noorda
Rachel Noorda is an author, researcher, and Director of Book Publishing at Portland State University.
Sonia Thompson
Sonia Thompson

Sonia Thompson is a strategist and consultant who helps brands win customers by delivering inclusive experiences that make them feel like they belong.

2:30 – 5:00 PM ET PROGRAM II

Discussion: The Movement for Digital Equity

In February, a federal court blocked a Maryland law that sought to guarantee public library access to digital books on “reasonable” terms. But legislative and advocacy efforts continue around the country, and this discussion will focus on what comes next in the library community’s ongoing push for equity in the digital library market.

Michael Blackwell
Michael Blackwell
Michael Blackwell is the director of the St. Mary’s County Library in Maryland and an organizer of the ReadersFirst coalition, a coalition of libraries that advocates for equitable access to digital content in public libraries.
Carmi Parker
Carmi Parker
Carmi Parker is an ILS administrator at Whatcom County Library System and committee member for the Washington Digital Library Consortium (WDLC).
Kelvin Watson
Kelvin Watson
Kelvin Watson is the executive director of the Las Vegas-Clark County Library District and co-chair of the ALA’s Digital Content Working Group.

Special Guest:

Jennie Rose Halperin
Jennie Rose Halperin
Jennie Rose Halperin is the executive director of Library Futures, an advocacy group founded in 2020 to pursue policies that support the mission of libraries in the digital realm.

Moderated by: Andrew Richard Albanese

Discussion: We Are Still Not Okay: Protecting Library Workers After the Pandemic

In a February webinar titled “We Are Not Okay,” a panel of librarians explored the toll their work took on them in the wake of Covid-19. But what have we learned from the last two years? This discussion will reflect on the experiences of library workers before and during the pandemic and will look ahead to the kinds of changes needed to support the physical and mental wellbeing of library workers as we barrel toward a post-Covid world.
Veronda Pitchford
Veronda Pitchford
Veronda Pitchford is the assistant director of the Califa Group, a nonprofit membership consortium of libraries across California. She is also a principal investigator for the IMLS-funded Libraries as Second Responders project.
Andrea Lemoins
Andrea Lemoins
Andrea Lemoins is the outreach coordinator for the Free Library of Philadelphia and the founder of Concerned Black Workers of the Free Library of Philadelphia.
Christian Zabriskie
Christian Zabriskie
Christian Zabriskie is the executive director of the Onondaga County (N.Y.) Library System and the founder and the executive director of nonprofit advocacy group Urban Libraries Unite. In 2020, he was named Library Journal‘s Librarian of the Year.

Moderated by: Andrew Richard Albanese

Discussion: Library Leadership in the Post-Pandemic New Normal

America’s libraries rose to the challenge of the pandemic—now what? This discussion will identify and explore some of the pressing issues facing library leaders, looking both at has to change and what and skills librarians can still lean on going forward.
Stephanie Chase
Stephanie Chase
Stephanie Chase is the executive director of Libraries of Eastern Oregon, where she leads the work of a 15-county, 50-library consortium that supports the libraries of eastern Oregon with resource sharing, training, and networking opportunities.
R. David Lankes
R. David Lankes
R. David Lankes is an award-winning author and passionate advocate for librarians and their essential role in today’s society. Lankes is the Virginia & Charles Bowden Professor of Librarianship at the University of Texas at Austin’s School of Information.
Roosevelt Weeks
Roosevelt Weeks
Roosevelt Weeks is a veteran library leader and director of the Austin Public Library. He is passionate about improving technology, literacy, and education both inside and outside of the library.

Moderated by: Sari Feldman

Closing Keynote: Rep. Jamie Raskin

Maryland Congressman Jamie Raskin is author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Unthinkable: Trauma, Truth, and the Trials of American Democracy (HarperCollins) about the January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol. A Constitutional scholar, a tireless advocate for free speech, a leading defender of our democracy, Raskin is also a fervent supporter of libraries. As chair of the Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, he held a hearing on April 7, 2022 that explored the ongoing efforts across the country to ban books from schools and public libraries.
Jamie Raskin
Jamie Raskin

U.S. Representative (MD-08) and author, Unthinkable: Trauma, Truth, and the Trial of American Democracy (HarperCollins)

special evening event:
Celebrate Libraries with the Friends & Fiction Group

In March of 2020, in the earliest days of the pandemic, a group of major bestselling authors—Mary Kay Andrews, Kristin Harmel, Kristy Woodson Harvey, and Patti Callahan Henry—found themselves in a predicament suddenly common to many authors: all four had new books set for spring, but no way to reach readers in the wake of an unprecedented shutdown. So they did what so many of us did to get through the pandemic–they got online.

Two years later, their group—Friends & Fiction—is still online, with the four authors hosting a weekly live gathering on Wednesday evenings that features interviews with major authors, writing tips and insider talk about publishing and writing, lots of book talk, a spotlight on an indie bookseller, and heavy doses of friendship, support, and positivity. With some 70,000 very engaged members and their Facebook and more than a quarter million interactions each month, the Friends & Fiction group is one of the positive things to come from the pandemic.

Join Friends & Fiction live at the U.S. Book Show on Wednesday, May 25, from 6:45–8:00 PM ET, for a special library-themed episode of Friends & Fiction! Scheduled guests include authors Tia Williams and TJ Newman.

Mary Kay Andrews, Kristin Harmel, Kristy Woodson Harvey, and Patti Callahan Henry of Friends & Fiction
Mary Kay Andrews, Kristin Harmel, Kristy Woodson Harvey, and Patti Callahan Henry

Authors and founders of Friends & Fiction

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