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American Library Association Conference Draws Thousands to D.C.

No other event in the world offers a better opportunity to learn about current issues and trends in library and information science and technology than the ALA Annual Conference and Exhibition.

Throughout the conference which took place last weekend, attendees participated in events, heard inspiring speakers and learned from thought leaders and colleagues at more than 500 programs and in-depth sessions. Topics covered included digital content, innovation, the library of the future, transformation, emerging trends, best practices, community engagement, leadership and more. The conference also provided the chance to visit more than 800 vendors in the world’s largest library-focused exhibit hall, each highlighting new services, technologies, books and products.

Among the highlights was a one-on-one, Saturday, June 22, between Carla Hayden and Eric Klinenberg. Klinenberg, Professor of Sociology at New York University and the author of “Palaces of the People” spoke on the unique role that libraries provide to the community.

Hayden, sworn in as the 14th Librarian of Congress in September 2016, serves as the first woman and the first African American to lead the national library. She was nominated to the position by President Barack Obama in February 2016 and her nomination was confirmed by the U.S. Senate in July 2016.

In 1995, she became the first African American to receive Library Journal’s Librarian of the Year Award in recognition of her outreach services at the Pratt Library, which included an after-school center for Baltimore teens offering homework assistance and college and career counseling. She earned a bachelor of arts from Roosevelt University and an M.A. and Ph.D. from the Graduate Library School of the University of Chicago.

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