07:29 PM

Association of American Publishers, American Library Association To Co-Host Two Events at ALA Conference

Sessions to Feature Top Book Editors on Upcoming Fall Releases, Impact of Book Labeling Systems on Young Readers

Washington, D.C.; June 7, 2011 — The Association of American Publishers and the American Library Association are again partnering to co-host events at the ALA annual conference in New Orleans later this month.

This year’s two events will showcase new book releases through the eyes — and words — of leading editors and, separately, explore the aspects of censorship in labeling of young people’s books.

Both sessions reflect the longstanding relationship between AAP’s publisher members and ALA’s librarian membership and follow a series of events also held last month at the BookExpo industry conference in New York.

The ALA conference session “Fall Books Preview — From the Inside(rs) Out: Book Editors and the New Titles They Love,” will be held June 26. Well-attended in its debut year, this second edition brings together the book publishing industry’s leading editors to share behind-the-scenes stories about much-anticipated upcoming releases. It is produced in collaboration with librarian, author and NPR commentator Nancy Pearl, who also serves as host. Open to all ALA attendees, it will be held from 10:30 am - noon at the New Orleans Convention Center.

This year’s participating editors are Lee Boudreaux, Vice President, Ecco (HarperCollins); Stephen Morrison, Editor in Chief and Associate Publisher, Penguin Books; Michael Pietsch, Executive Vice President and Publisher, Little Brown & Company; John Sherer, Publisher, Basic Books (Perseus Books Group); and Bill Thomas, Senior Vice President, Publisher and Editor in Chief, Doubleday.

The second event will be "Whose Common Sense? How Labeling Systems Hurt Young Readers," to be held June 27. Co-hosted by the AAP Freedom to Read Committee and the ALA Intellectual Freedom Committee, this panel discussion will examine the growing popularity of rating systems for young readers’ books and the censorship these might provoke.

Rating systems are used to screen books for young people and weigh their age appropriateness based on such factors as sexual content, profanity, violence and consumerism. While developed ostensibly to provide trustworthy information to concerned parents, these evaluations have proven an easy means for censors to target books they consider offensive.

Panel participants will represent different perspectives on the issue including bestselling Young Adult author David Levithan, high school student Jeffrey Nadell and librarian and scholar Christine Jenkins. Michael Norris of SIMBA/Book Publishing Report moderates. It will be held 1:30-3:30pm at the Convention Center.

At BookExpo, held May 23-26, AAP produced several well-attended events for librarians. Among them, “Book Banning 2011: A Report from the Front Lines,” addressing First Amendment issues; seminars on trends in book publishing including “The Great Readalike” and “Back to Basics: Why Home Economics Books are the New Retro Chic;” and the third annual “Librarian Shout ‘n’ Share.” Additionally, AAP hosted several lunches and dinners for librarians with popular authors.