2021 Keynote Speakers

Wednesday Pre-Conference:
EDICon: Foundations for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

Presented by the American Library Association’s Office for Diversity, Literacy and Outreach Services (ODLOS), EDIcon introduces equity, diversity, and inclusion within a social justice framework. Through multimedia and participatory experiences, the training explores cultural competence, implicit bias, and privilege in the context of librarianship and the communities served by libraries. EDIcon provides the foundational understanding of ourselves and our interactions needed to begin to identify and disrupt learned behaviors.
This pre-conference is a half-day session, which will be presented twice. Each session is capped at 100 participants. The content will also be different from the Thursday Morning Keynote.

Thursday Morning Keynote:
ALA’s ODLOS: Identifying Microaggressions

The American Library Association’s Office for Diversity, Literacy and Outreach Services (ODLOS) staff will explore microaggressions, including the definition, examples of racial and other types of microaggressions, how microaggressions can impact librarianship, and ways to recognize and begin to respond to microaggressions. This content will be different from the Wednesday Pre-Conference.

Friday Morning Keynote:
ALA President Julius Jefferson Jr.

Julius C. Jefferson, Jr., is the Section Head of the Research and Library Services Section in the Foreign Affairs, Defense, and Trade Division at Congressional Research Service of the Library of Congress. In this role, Jefferson leads research librarians who provide public policy research assistance exclusively to Members of Congress, Congressional Committees and Staffers. He also previously served as the Acting Chief of Research & Reference Services at the Library of Congress.

Jefferson is currently the 2020-2021 President of the American Library Association (ALA). He has also served on a number of critical ALA committees, including the Finance and Audit Committee, the Budget Analysis and Review Committee and the Intellectual Freedom Committee, serving as the 2010-11 Chair.

In addition to his service to the American Library Association, Jefferson has held a seat on the Board of the Freedom to Read Foundation (2012-16) serving as the 2013-16 president; served as president of the District of Columbia Library Association (DCLA); and served on the board of the Black Caucus of the American Library Association (BCALA).

An often called upon authority/speaker on issues of importance to library workers, Jefferson has appeared on a number of media outlets, including National Public Radio. He is co- editor of The 21st-Century Black Librarian in America: Issues and Challenges and is often sought as a speaker on library-related issues such as diversity, leadership and professional development.

Friday Author Lunch Speaker:
Tara Westover: Author of Educated: A Memoir

Tara Westover is an American author. Born in Idaho to a father opposed to public education, she never attended school. An older brother taught her to read, and after that her education was erratic and haphazard, with most of her days spent working in her father’s junkyard or stewing herbs for her mother. She was seventeen the first time she set foot in a classroom. After that first encounter with education she pursued learning for a decade, graduating magna cum laude from Brigham Young University in 2008 and subsequently winning a Gates Cambridge Scholarship. She received an MPhil from Trinity College, Cambridge in 2009 and in 2014 was awarded a PhD in history. Currently, she is a Senior Research Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School, working on projects related to media and political polarization.

In 2018, she published her memoir, Educated, which explores her struggle to reconcile her desire for education and autonomy with her desire to be loyal to her family. Educated was an instant commercial and critical success, debuting at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list and remaining on the list for more than two years. It was also a finalist for a number of national awards, including the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, the PEN/Jean Stein Book Award, and the National Book Critics Circle Award. The New York Times named Educated one of the 10 Best Books of 2018, and the American Booksellers Association voted it the Nonfiction Book of the Year.

To date, Educated has sold more than 7 million copies and has been translated into 45 languages. President Barack Obama included Educated on his annual reading list, calling it “remarkable,” and Bill Gates listed it as one of his favorite books of the year, saying, “It’s even better than you’ve heard.” For her staggering impact, TIME Magazine named Westover one of the 100 most influential people of 2018.