ALA, Father Michael Pfleger, hold forum on Friday to discuss gun violence


CHICAGO – Chicago has been plagued by gun violence, which affects each of us. What are the causes? Unemployment? Poverty? Absentee parents? Violent Videogames?

From 1 – 3:30 p.m. on Friday, June 28, at the McCormick Place Convention Center, S105a-c, Father Michael Pfleger will join American Library Association (ALA) Annual Conference and Exhibition attendees to discuss how libraries and librarians can contribute to the solution in gun violence.

“We hope that this will be the first of several sessions on community engagement at future ALA conferences,” said ALA President Maureen Sullivan. “Our goal is to empower librarians to continue to play an active role in using programs and services to address community issues.”

The session will be introduced by Michael Pfleger, pastor of St. Sabina’s Church in Chicago and a fervent gun safety activist. Then a panel of community members affected by gun violence — parents, students, gang members, librarians and researchers—will be led in a discussion by CM Winters, a librarian at Malcolm X College in Chicago. The session will end in breakout sessions where attendees will have an opportunity to share ideas.

This free pre-conference supports the ALA and The Harwood Institute’s “The Promise of Libraries Transforming Communities” initiative, which positions libraries as conveners and facilitators of community change.  The session will explore how librarians can “turn outward” and engage the communities that they serve and to use collected information to shape library programs and services.

The American Library Association (ALA), holds its Annual Conference & Exhibition each summer. More than 20,000 librarians and library staff, educators, writers, publishers, Friends of libraries, trustees, special guests, and exhibitors will attend the conference and participate in the ongoing transformation of libraries. With more than 2,000 scheduled events, attendees will engage in a wide range of library-related topics affecting libraries and their users, as well as tours and special events. Also leading institutions and ALA offices will provide key policy, research and other updates.

The American Library Association is the oldest and largest library association in the world, with approximately 58,000 members in academic, public, school, government, and special libraries. The mission of the American Library Association is to provide leadership for the development, promotion and improvement of library and information services and the profession of librarianship in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all.

For more information regarding the 2013 ALA Annual Conference & Exhibition, please visit the ALA Conference website at, or contact ALA Media Relations Manager Macey Morales at (312) 280-4393,, or Katherine Kelly, ALA Media Relations Support,  630-964-4186,

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