On Wednesday, the American Library Association revealed a special guest for the closing session of its virtual conference later this month.

Former President of the United States Barack Obama will close the ALA Annual Conference & Exhibition (Virtual) on Tuesday, June 29, 2021, in conversation with Lonnie G. Bunch III, the 14th secretary of the Smithsonian and first African American appointed to the role.

According to ALA, Obama will discuss A Promised Land, the first volume of his presidential memoirs that was released in November 2020 (Crown).

“The big event isn’t the first Obama appearance for ALA,” notes Andrew AlbanesePublishers Weekly senior writer. “In 2018, Michele Obama opened the annual conference in New Orleans.

“And in 2005, a newly elected United States Senator from Illinois spoke at the ALA annual conference in Chicago, Obama’s hometown. As ALA officials noted, his career seemed to take off from there, so they’ve invited him back.”

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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