Cognotes 2018 Annual Conference Highlights - 1

HIGHLIGHT

S

COGNOTES
NEW ORLEANS

AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION

Viola Davis Takes a 'Bow'

Viola Davis discusses her new children's book Corduroy Takes a Bow during
the closing session.
Viola Davis discusses her new children's book during the Closing Session.
By Terra Dankowski, American Libraries

V

iola Davis can't get enough of New
Orleans. "This is one of my favorite
cities," she announced to an auditorium packed with library professionals. "You
can blow a fuse in this city, though, between
the vodka and the fried oysters."
Oscar, Emmy, and Tony-winning actor
Davis was the Closing Session speaker at the
American Library Association's 2018 Annual
Conference & Exhibition in New Orleans on
June 26 - and the crowd couldn't get enough
of her. Davis received a standing ovation before the program even started."I didn't realize
so many people would be in the audience!"
she exclaimed.
Author of the forthcoming children's book

Corduroy Takes a Bow, her take on Don Freeman's iconic bear, Davis was interviewed on
stage by Andrew Medlar, former Association
for Library Service to Children president,
about her relationship with books and libraries, her love of theater, and her connection
to the original Corduroy story published 50
years ago.
"We didn't have bookshelves in our apartment," said Davis. "When you're poor, there
is very little access to anything. That's the
language people don't understand."
Davis found that access at Adams Memorial Library growing up in Central Falls, R.I.
"The librarian there, Denise, she would save
have her lunch for me," she said. "I was like
Pavlov's dog waiting for a tuna fish sandwich."
ยป see page 12

Slam Poet Gayle Danley
Shares Her Craft
By Kate Sanders, University of Oklahoma

C

hampion slam poet Gayle Danley
captivated ALA attendees on June
25 during the final Auditorium
Speakers Series event. With pink zebra
sequined pants and a spellbinding stage
presence, she launched into an emotional
slam poem telling of a time she spoke at
a juvenile detention center. She recounted
the emotional repression of the boys there,
the way the officers verbally abused them
and shouted them into submission. She was
there to teach the boys the basics of slam
poetry to help them express themselves in
a healthy way, but they were not allowed

2018 ANNUAL CONFERENCE HIGHLIGHTS

pencils to write their stories. She spoke to
the boys about losing her mother and connected with one of the boys whose mother
had also passed.
"Let them come to you and be loved,"
Danley said, addressing librarians in the
room who work with children. She acknowledged that many young people coming to the
library may have difficult home lives, and
that libraries provide a space of safety. She
encouraged librarians to help their young
patrons express themselves: "Share something from your heart and encourage them
to do the same."
She shared additional poems about surviving and escaping an abusive relationship,
learning to live without her mother, and the
teacher who made her a poet.

INSIDE ...
Michelle Obama
page 2
Welcome from
new ALA president
page 3
Sally Field
page 6
Doris Kearns Goodwin
page 9
ALA President's Program
page 10
Conversation with
Dr. Carla Hayden
page 13
ALA President
Loida Garcia-Febo
announces advocacy effort
page 15


https://2018.alaannual.org/general-information/news http://www.alaannual.org

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