Rick Riordan and Mark Oshiro, book bans, romance

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Photo of Mark Oshiro and Rick Riordan

While touring in 2018 for their first novel Anger Is a Gift, author Mark Oshiro needed to de-stress, and a friend recommended they read the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. So Oshiro picked up the first book in Rick Riordan’s Greek mythology-inspired series for middle-grade readers. In seven days, they finished all 14 available titles in the Percy Jackson universe. “Like many of you, I made Percy Jackson my personality for a solid two to three months,” Oshiro joked.


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Since its founding in 2021, Moms for Liberty has become the most notorious and prolific political organization pushing for book bans at schools and libraries across the country. “What Moms for Liberty isn’t doing is advocacy—it’s a takeover,” said Emily Amick, an attorney, social media influencer, and founder of political change nonprofit For Facts Sake. “I want to push you to think bigger about what we’re up against and how to fight it.”

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Even in years when we aren’t facing the threats we’re dealing with now, #ALAAC23 always feels like a reset and refresh for me. It fills my tank back up and reminds me why I love my job and libraries. —@paroo1
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Times listed are Central.

Libraries serving small and rural communities are doing incredible work overcoming challenges and taking advantage of new opportunities. Instructive for institutions of any size, this program will present research on ALA’s Libraries Transforming Communities initiative and firsthand accounts of inspiring library practices. 10:30–11:30 a.m. Monday, June 26.

Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) capacity-building is a practice used to measure how an organization fulfills its DEI goals through management, governance, and assessment and achievement of results. Designed for library leaders, this session will examine DEI in the context of dialogue, collections, holding space, and avoiding burnout. 1–2 p.m. Monday, June 26.

Romance books are often stigmatized, and patrons shamed for reading them. Learn how to confront this problem, run a successful romance book club, develop a collection, and embrace this genre that is both feminist and diverse. 2:30–3:30 p.m. Monday, June 26.


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It’s been six years since librarianship’s largest event has taken place in Chicago. Read our roundup of the can’t-miss programs, speakers, awards, and social networking opportunities at this year’s conference.

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Want to know what to do, see, and eat while you’re here? American Libraries has you covered. Check out our , a , and our featuring segments on the city’s pizza and zine scenes.


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