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June 25-30, 2015




USE THE TAG #alaac15


Closing Session: Grand Ending to a Great Conference

By Steve Zalusky

The American Library Association held the “last waltz” for its 2015 Annual Conference & Exhibition in San Francisco, with a Closing General Session on June 30 that featured Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Robbie Robertson and Caldecott Medal Honor winner David Shannon (No, David!).

Prior to their appearance, 2014-2015 ALA President Courtney L. Young passed the gavel to 2015-2016 ALA President Sari Feldman and introduced the new division presidents.

Feldman announced “Libraries Transform,” a new, multiyear public awareness campaign. The campaign's ultimate goal is to increase funding support for libraries and advance information policy issues in alignment with ALA's strategic advocacy goals. She also announced the website,

Feldman then interviewed Robertson and Shannon about their new book, Hiawatha and the Peacemaker.

The book tells the story of the strong and

» see page 15

Sarah Lewis Explores Creativity, Inspiration, Mastery in President's Program

By Brad Martin, LAC Group

Sarah Lewis began her remarks on June 28 by saying that it was “an honor to be in this room” and ended by stating that addressing the ALA audience was an even greater privilege than writing her book The Rise.

Lewis has served on President Obama's Arts Policy Committee and is a Du Bois Fellow at Harvard University. She has also been selected for O, The Oprah Magazine's Power List.

In her talk, Lewis explored themes in The Rise, which she said is about “the unlikely foundations of creative behavior,” and used examples of artists, inventors, and writers to illustrate the importance of “private domains and the function they serve for thought, creativity, and justice.”

Lewis said her grandfather, Shadrach Emmanuel Lee, was the inspiration for the book she would later write. Being told at a young age by a teacher that black people were not in history books because they had not contributed anything, Lee was not frightened by the prospect of failure and went on to become a painter and jazz musician. Lewis recalled visits to his house as a child, where she would see his art — and the small room that provided the

» see page 12

The Band's Robbie Robertson (left) and illustrator David Shannon share a laugh while discussing their book Hiawatha and the Peacemaker during the Closing Session.


U.S. House of Representatives Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi recognizes the efforts of Roberta A. Kaplan after the Opening General Session June 26. (See story and video on page 4).