In late June in Chicago, the annual conference of the American Library Association (ALA) drew 16,000 attendees to a program featuring dozens of authors including Ibram X. Kendi and Judy Blume.

“The 2023 attendance was well below the 23,000 the conference drew to its last annual conference in Chicago, in June of 2017,” noted Andrew AlbanesePublishers Weekly. “But it is a nice bump of more than 13 percent from the 14,000 who participated in last year’s event in Washington, D.C.”

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According to the Albanese, the ALA conference highlighted an organized response from the library and publishing communities to politicized attacks on the freedom to read.

“Make no mistake, this year’s ALA was exactly what the library community needed,” he tells me. “On the show stages, in the meeting rooms, and on the show floor, librarians were praised for their work and all they are doing in standing up for the freedom to read, which was very much the theme of the conference.”


Author: Christopher Kenneally

Christopher Kenneally hosts CCC's Velocity of Content podcast series, which debuted in 2006 and is the longest continuously running podcast covering the publishing industry. As CCC's Senior Director, Marketing, he is responsible for organizing and hosting programs that address the business needs of all stakeholders in publishing and research. His reporting has appeared in the New York Times, Boston Globe, Los Angeles Times, The Independent (London), WBUR-FM, NPR, and WGBH-TV.
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