- Department International Cooperation and PR Team
- Registration Date 2022-09-27
- views 329
Snapshots of the 2022 ALA Annual Conference & Exhibition
(In order to serve the needs of our Korean readership, we have modified parts of the original English media release published by the ALA.)
The 2022 Annual Conference and Exhibition of the American Library Association (ALA) was held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. from June 23 to 28. The theme of this year’s conference was Inspire, Engage, Enable, and Connect.
After three years of remote conferences due to COVID-19, this in-person conference was attended by more than 7,738 librarians, library workers, and library supporters. They were joined by 5,431 exhibitors, authors, illustrators, and members of the press. For those who could not physically attend the conference, access was made available through online channels as well.
Celebrating its 141st anniversary, the conference included ALA division sessions, international program events, and exhibition corners. The ALA celebrated the in-person conference with the hashtag #TogetherAgain. Over 160 education programs and 1,200+ events took place at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center and nearby locations.
The opening ceremony
The Annual Conference opened with a conversation with 2021-2022 ALA President Patricia "Patty" Wong, the first Asian-American President of the ALA, and Chairwoman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Jessica Rosenworcel, who discussed the state of broadband and digital equality in the United States. Chair Rosenworcel reported that the $7 billion Emergency Connectivity Fund, which is part of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, has allowed the FCC to help more than 900 libraries and thousands of schools cover broadband costs and technology purchases.
Major programs and sessions
The conference focused on the challenges being faced by libraries today, with dozens of sessions related to the urgent issues and opportunities facing the field, including intellectual freedom and censorship, digital access, and digital literacy.
Wong convened a panel at the ALA President’s Program, “Advancing the Asian American Story: A Conversation with Publishers, Literacy Advocates, and Storytellers.” Panelists included: Jane Park, senior content strategist for Google Kids & Families; Linda Sue Park, New York Times bestselling author and creator of kiBooka.com, a listing of kids’ books by Korean Americans and Korean diaspora creators; Philip Lee, co-founder and publisher of Readers to Eaters; and Christina Soontornvat, a young adult author, 2021 Kirkus Prize for Young People’s Literature recipient, and 2021 Newbery Honor recipient. The panelists discussed how the children’s publishing industry has evolved in terms of whose story gets told, the role that books can play in promoting a more diverse and equitable world, and what the future holds for Asian-American creators and their narratives.
There was also a session in which Korean-American actor and author John Jo and the moderator, author Grace Lin, discussed his new book “Troublemaker.” Jo moved to the US when he was six years old. The book shows the impact of the 1992 Los Angeles riots on the Korean community in the US and the issue of racial conflict from the perspective of a 12-year-old Korean-American kid.
Young adult horror author R.L. Stine talked about his upcoming book, “Stinetinglers,” while journalist and Pulitzer Prize winner Maria Hinojosa shared her upcoming memoir, “Once I Was You.” Librarian of Congress Dr. Carla Hayden spoke about the importance of libraries within our communities and the role that libraries and librarians play in the misinformation age.
The International Relations Round Table (IRRT) and reception
There was also an orientation and reception for librarians from other countries. The orientation session included a program for international librarians attending the ALA conference for the first time, an ALA division session, the IRRT discussion, an introduction on to how to use the ALA Annual Conference app, and an introduction to the Library Marketplace.
At the IRRT, which was held on June 25, participants introduced themselves and discussed the agenda for the meeting. IRRT officers presented on how international activities are being performed at the IRRT. The reception for international librarians was held in the Lobby of the Jefferson Building at the Library of Congress. This event was a great opportunity for librarians from around the world to share the issues and challenges facing their library communities.
More than 560 businesses and organizations participated in the exhibition to showcase new technologies, services, and products. There were eight LIVE stages (Book Buzz Theater, PopTop, Diversity in Publishing, Chapter One, Graphic Novels and Gaming, Tech Talk, ThinkFit, and the Look of Books) where authors discussed their upcoming titles. Additional opportunities included the Live at the 25 Podcast Booth, where attendees watched and listened to emerging and established authors as they recorded podcasts about a variety of books; the Now Showing @ ALA onsite movie theater, where attendees could watch more than 15 films and documentaries; the Festival of Shorts, which offered short films and trailers; and, new for this year, the Test Pilot Playground that offered hands-on experiences with robotics, artificial intelligence, augmented reality, and virtual reality.
At the Closing General Session, Luvvie Ajayi Jones, author of “Rising Troublemaker: A Fear-Fighter Manual for Teens,” and Dr. Nicole A. Cooke, Augusta Baker Endowed Chair and Associate Professor at the University of South Carolina’s School of Information Science in Columbia, discussed speaking up in the face of injustice. Jones charged attendees to be “professional troublemakers” and to make “good trouble.”
The 2022 ALA Annual conference provided a valuable opportunity for librarians from around the world to discuss pressing issues such as digital equality, intellectual freedom and censorship, digital access, and digital literacy, as well as to share ideas about ways forward. Regardless of where they are from, the participants all shared a deep passion for the future of libraries.
The 2023 ALA Annual Conference will be held in Chicago, Illinois from June 22 to 27, 2023.
For the original article published by the ALA, visit
The Korean article was written by Yun Yeong-jo, Librarian at the International Cooperation and Public Relations Team, National Library of Korea
The British Library’s International Library Leaders ProgrammeICPR Team 2023-05-22
Library of Congress Digitization Strategy: 2023-2027ICPR Team 2023-05-22
The Korean Culture and Information Service launches a tour of 15 cities around the world with superb exhibitions and performances related to Korean culture, including the Hangeul Experiment ProjectICPR Team 2023-05-22
ALA 2023 Annual Conference & Exhibition Preliminary Program showcases education programs, exhibitors, and other conference highlightsICPR Team 2023-05-22
WLIC ’23: IFLA ARL Call for Papers: “From Gutenberg to ChatGPT!ICPR Team 2023-05-22