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2021 WLA Keynotes & Events

Stay tuned for announcements on special events and conference keynotes for #WLA2021.

Thursday, September 30

WLA's Got Talent! | 7:00–9:00 pm" "
Shushing not allowed! Come share your voice and talents with us in the first inaugural WLA Talent Show and Open Mic event, hosted by Vice President/President-Elect Ahniwa Ferrari.

Library folks are talented and we want to celebrate you all, both for the work that you do and also for the passions you cultivate. Performances can vary in length, topic, and medium. Singers, songwriters, musicians, comedians, authors, poets, jugglers, contortionists, and artists of all kinds are encouraged to sign up. Signing up to share photos of your amazing garden, super cool quilting project, or any other interesting work is also highly encouraged!

You do not need to be registered for the conference itself either to attend or present at this event. But we highly encourage it! Please complete the sign-up form to perform during this event. This form is not required if you'd simply like to attend, as everyone will be welcome and the link will be shared out ahead of time. If you wish to attend, but aren't registered for conference, register here!

Friday, October 1

Speed Networking Icebreaker | 9:00–10:00 am
Make new connections with other conference attendees over your morning beverage of choice! Join Vice President/President-Elect Ahniwa Ferrari for this fun, informal networking event to open programming for the 2021 WLA Conference. You'll be paired off randomly in Zoom breakout rooms for short one-on-one conversations with other attendees to share your answers to all kinds of icebreakers, ranging from your conference plans, to your favorite sandwich, to your latest recommended read!

" "Afternoon Keynote with Tracie D. Hall & Ijeoma Oluo | 1:00–2:15 pm
Join us for this afternoon keynote with ALA Executive Director Tracie D. Hall in conversation with Ijeoma Oluo! This session will be streamed live through the Whova conference app!

Tracie D. Hall is the American Library Association’s 10th executive director, and first female African American executive director, in its 143-year history. No stranger to libraries, over the years she has worked at the Seattle Public Library, the New Haven Free Public Library, Hartford Public Library, and Queens Library. Most recently, Hall directed the culture portfolio at the Chicago-based Joyce Foundation. In addition to her MLIS from the iSchool at the University of Washington, Hall holds an MA in International and Area studies from Yale University and dual bachelor’s degrees from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Ijeoma Oluo is a writer, speaker and internet yeller. She is the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller So You Want to Talk About Race and most recently, Mediocre: The Dangerous Legacy of White Male America. Her work on race has been featured in The Guardian, The New York Times and The Washington Post, among many other publications. She was named to the 2021 TIME 100 Next list and has twice been named to the Root 100. She received the 2018 Feminist Humanist Award and the 2020 Harvard Humanist of the Year Award from the American Humanist Association.

Saturday, October 2

ScLD/CAYAS Author Breakfast with Kelly Jones | 9:00–10:15 am
Join WLA’s School Library Division and the Children & Young Adult Services Section (CAYAS) for the 2021 Author Breakfast! This session will be streamed live through the Whova conference app, and will feature special guest author Kelly Jones along with award acknowledgements from the 2021 winning authors and illustrators of the 2021 WLA Book Awards.

Kelly Jones grew up in a small town near San Francisco, California. She received a Bachelor of Arts in English and Anthropology and a Master’s in Library and Information Sciences from the University of Washington, and now lives near Seattle. She worked in libraries and bookstores for fifteen years, then began to tell her own stories. Her first book, Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer, was an ALA Notable Book, a School Library Journal Best Book, a Kirkus Reviews Best Book, a Mathical Honor Book, and was nominated for children’s choice awards in 16 states. Her other books include Are You Ready to Hatch an Unusual Chicken? (an International Latino Book Award Finalist), Sauerkraut (a Junior Library Guild Selection), Murder, Magic, and What We Wore (an Amelia Bloomer List selection), and Happily for Now (a Junior Library Guild Selection). You can find her talking to kids and other people who love stories about what it’s like to work as a writer, what her mostly-usual real-life chickens are up to these days, and what she’s reading. Look for her online at her website, curiosityjones.net, and on Twitter and Instagram @curiosityjones.

Books from Keynote Speakers & 2021 Book Award Winners