Authors Jason Reynolds and Nancy Pearl join high school students to unite against book bans at the world’s largest library event in Washington, DC on June 25

WASHINGTON, DC – Jason Reynolds, award-winning young adult author, Nancy Pearl, author of Book Lust, and Deborah Caldwell-Stone, intellectual freedom advocate for the American Library Association (ALA), will join students at Bell Multicultural High School (Washington, DC) to advocate for the right to read and the joy of claiming that right. The discussion will take place at the world’s largest library event, the ALA Annual Conference and Expos, to be held in Washington, DC, June 24-27.

“ALA is proud to have students join the conversation about book bans alongside our esteemed authors, because young people are their best advocates for reading freedom,” said Deborah Caldwell-Stone, Director of the Office. of the ALA for intellectual freedom. “Books are particularly important tools for students who want and need access to books that help them understand complex and difficult issues. Limiting young people’s access to these books does not protect them from life’s challenges, but access to books can cultivate critical thinking and open up new horizons for them.

During National Library Week (April 2022), ALA launched a new public awareness campaign: United against book bans. More than 40 national partners, including the American Federation of Teachers, Authors Guild, Human Rights Council and Publishers, have signed on to the Unite Against Book Bans campaign, providing resources and tools for readers to use their voice in the public arena to stop the efforts. to ban books nationally and locally.

WHO: Authors Jason Reynolds and Nancy Pearl; Deborah Caldwell-Stone, Director, ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom; Bell High School Library Ambassadors

WHAT: United against book bans

WHERE: Saturday, June 25, 2022, 4:00 p.m. ET/1:00 p.m. PT

WHEN: Washington Convention Center* and virtual


About the speakers:

  • Jason Reynolds is a New York Times #1 bestselling author and winner of numerous awards for his books, including All American Boys (co-authored with Brendan Kiely); When I was the greatest; The Boy in the Black Suit; Stamp; As brave as you; For everyone; the Track series (Ghost, Patina, Sunny and Lu); Look both ways; Stuntman, meanwhile; Ain’t Burned All the Bright; My name is Jason. Mine too. (with Jason Griffin); and Long Way Down, which received a Newbery Honor, a Printz Honor and a Coretta Scott King Honor. He lives in Washington, DC. You can find his ramblings at
  • Nancy Pearl talks about the pleasures of reading and books on “Book Lust with Nancy Pearl,” her monthly television show on the Seattle Channel. Pearl has received numerous awards and accolades, and in 2021 the National Book Foundation, presenter of the National Book Awards, named her the recipient of its 2021 Literary Award for Outstanding Service to the American Literary Community. She worked in the Detroit, Tulsa, and Seattle public library systems, and later wrote the popular “Book Lust” series, four titles filled with recommendations for great books to read.
  • Deborah Caldwell-Stone is Director of ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom and Executive Director of the Freedom to Read Foundation. Throughout her 20-year tenure at ALA, Caldwell-Stone has worked closely with library workers and library administrators on a wide range of intellectual freedom and privacy issues, including challenges related to books, internet censorship, meeting room policies, and the privacy and confidentiality of library users. . Prior to joining the ALA in 2000, Caldwell-Stone was an attorney and former appellate litigator in Chicago.
  • Bell High School (Washington, DC) Library Ambassadors, led by school librarian Christopher Stewart, promote library resources, help with projects and events, learn about careers as a librarian, and promote a culture of peace, love and literacy.

About ALA:

The American Library Association (ALA) is the leading national organization providing resources to inspire library and information professionals to transform their communities through essential programs and services. For more than 140 years, ALA has been the trusted voice of academic, public, school, government and special libraries, advocating for the profession and the role of the library in improving learning and access to information for all.

* ALA monitors the latest health and safety guidelines for large group gatherings from the CDC, DC Department of Health and the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. Please see the American Library Association’s 2022 Annual Conference Health Protocols for more information.

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