2016 Annual Conference General Session Speakers

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Press Release
January 7, 2016

Sara Ortiz | Communications & Marketing Specialist 
sarao@txla.org | 512-328-1518

National News and Literary Figures Evan Smith, Al Roker, and Dav Pilkey
to Deliver General Sessions at 2016 Texas Library Association Conference

AUSTIN – January 7, 2016 – The Texas Library Association (TLA) announces Evan Smith, Al Roker, and Dav Pilkey will deliver the General Sessions (GS) at the TLA Annual Conference in Houston, TX.  The conference will take place at the George R. Brown Convention Center during April 19 – 22, 2016.

GS I will proudly feature Evan Smith, the editor-in-chief of The Texas Tribune and former editor-in-chief of Texas Monthly. Smith is arguably the leading voice on reporting Texas politics and policies. His unique perspective and journalistic style has made Smith one of the most trusted and insightful voices on the activities of state government. From his visible passion for state news to his well-known commitment to education and literacy, Smith delivers Texas news in a way that makes the listener and reader a more informed citizen. On Wednesday, April 23 at 8:30am, he discusses the news and policies shaping our state today. 

Nationally-acclaimed newsman and author Al Roker headlines GS II, on Thursday, April 22 at 4 pm. Roker, who has earned 10 Emmy awards for his work on NBC's Today show,  is also a bestselling author with many acclaimed works. His first book, Don't Make Me Stop This Car: Adventures in Fatherhood, spent weeks at the top of the New York Times best-seller list. His most recent work, The Storm of The Century: Tragedy, Heroism, Survival, and the Epic True Story of America's Deadliest Natural Disaster: The Great Gulf Hurricane of 1900, is a riveting exploration of one of the most tragic events in American history. 

The ever-entertaining Dav Pilkey, Caldecott Honor Award-winning author and illustrator of more than 50 books for children, will deliver his message of "Reading Gives You Superpowers" during GS III on Friday, April 21 at 1:30pm. He is beloved by children and parents, and he is known for his humor, inventiveness, and ability to subtly underscore kindness and friendship. He is a champion for intellectual freedom and has braved many challenges to his work, notably the Captain Underpants series – which remains a favorite for children and has been instrumental in developing life-long readers.

“TLA is thrilled to welcome Evan Smith, Al Roker, and Dav Pilkey to the 2016 TLA Conference,” said Patricia Smith, TLA Executive Director. “From Pilkey’s message of ‘Reading Gives You Superpowers’ to TV personality Roker, America’s favorite meteorologist, to Smith’s expertise on Texas politics and polices, conference  attendees will hear a wide array of topics. Their willingness to share their respective messages is important.”

The TLA annual conference examines the practices and coming trends libraries are using to advance education, literacy, and robust digital citizenship. The 2016 conference theme is “Open Libraries: Open Opportunities.” The annual conference showcases how libraries are at the forefront of changes in educational technology, digital publishing, and community initiatives for literacy and workforce development.

The General Sessions are free for all individuals registered for the 2016 TLA Annual Conference.  For more information and registration details for the 2016 TLA Conference, please visit www.txla.org/annual-conference.


Credentialed members of the media may request press passes.

About the Texas Library Association Annual Conference
The TLA Conference is an essential annual destination for library and information professional communities — ranging from academic, public, school, to special library markets, information professionals, experts in technology and research, authors, illustrators, and publishing industry representatives. Over four days, attendees have access to insightful dialogue, networking, and unrivaled access to the organizations and opinion-makers that matter most in the delivery of informational learning resources and services. Registration for the conference opens this fall.

About the Texas Library Association
TLA is the largest state library association in the country with over 7,000 members who work in public, school, academic, and special libraries and who support educational institutions. TLA offers a wide range of services, including advocacy, continuing education, research, and public relations. To learn more about TLA, visit TLA’s website www.txla.org or call 512-328-1518.

Created on Jan 7, 2016 | Last updated January 07, 2016