ALSC President’s Program: Melba Pattillo Beals

By Monday morning of Annual Conference, I’m usually starting to feel the lack of sleep and overload of information catch up with me. This year’s Charlemae Rollins ALSC President’s Program was an invigorating and moving experience that woke the audience, figuratively and literally. To begin, the St. Ailbe’s Children’s Choir of Chicago gave a rousing performance of gospel songs which brought everyone to be ready to hear Melba Pattillo Beals speak. Beals is the author of Warriors Don’t Cry: A Searing Memoir of the Battle to Integrate Little Rock High School and White is a State of Mind: Freedom is Yours to Choose.

Beals urged the audience to be louder about the role of librarians in education. She asked us: without librarians, where would we be? She would not have known who she was, she says, and would not have realized that she as a person was valued. Beals implored us to open up our hearts and souls to our communities, to let people know the impact that libraries can have on their lives.

You can read more about this program on the PLA Blog.

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