Welcome to the 2017 MLA Annual Conference! This year’s theme is Radical Librarianship - the power of libraries to provide access to the truth, strengthen our community voices, create opportunity for exploration and innovation, and assist our patrons to build a better future. Libraries have always been radical, but what does Radical Librarianship mean for us today? Join us at the 2017 MLA Annual Conference to help shape that conversation!

Kara Thom

Author/Public Speaker
Kara Douglass Thom danced her way through childhood but discovered her inner athlete after running a 5K after college. She was hooked and went on to run many road races and multi-sport events, including seven marathons and two Ironman triathlons. As a journalist she combined her passion for writing and fitness into several books: Becoming an Ironman: First Encounters with the Ultimate Endurance Event; her first children's book, See Mom Run; and, while balancing fitness and raising four children, she co-wrote Hot (Sweaty) Mamas: Five Secrets to Life as a Fit Mom. In 2011, she began collaborating with Go! Go! Sports Girls to write a series of six children's books for the groundbreaking company with a line of sports-themed dolls built in specification to a real girl's body. In 2016, Thom participated in a conference at the White House on breaking gender stereotypes in media and toys. She coaches an after-school fitness and empowerment class for girls in 3rd-5th grade, and provides teacher workshops and school assemblies about the importance of active living and movement's impact on the creative process. Both authors have broken barriers and continue to fight to provide children with strong, athletic female lead characters in their books. They are recipients of the Minnesota National Girls and Women in Sports Day Breaking Barriers Award (Boyum-Breen '16 and Thom '17) and are currently exploring research on athletic females in children's literature with the Tucker Center for Research on Girls and Women in Sports at the University of Minnesota.