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!

Shelly Boyum-Breen

Author/Public Speaker
Shelly Boyum-Breen has been an athlete her entire life. Kara Douglass Thom discovered her inner-athlete after becoming an adult. Both Minneapolis-based writers didn't know each other at the time, but in 2014 each launched a series of children's books with female athletes as central characters. While thousands of titles about boys in sports exist on bookshelves, there are relatively few about girls in sports. Shelly and Kara both had their own reasons for creating change, but shared a common mission. It didn't take long for the two women to discover each other, and when they did, they teamed up to support their work and empower girls in sports through books that reflect who girls are today: athletes. Shelly Boyum-Breen grew up with aspirations of playing professional sports. She spent countless hours on the basketball court, neighborhood hockey rinks, and local golf courses. Her passion for sports led her to coach college and high school basketball and tennis. Shelly later worked with the Minnesota Timberwolves and Lynx organization, serving with the organization for four years and later moving into a sales consulting role for the Lynx, the New York Liberty, and the 10th Anniversary WNBA All-Star Game at Madison Square Garden. Shelly wished there had been books about girls in sports when she was a child. When she realized such books still didn't exist, she set out to create Shelly Bean the Sports Queen, who reigns in her four-book series. Shelly was the Founder and past-President of Foundation IX and the Let Me Play grants supporting Minnesota girls' participation in sports and fitness. She is a board member of the Ann Bancroft Foundation, speaks around the country, and recently gave a TEDx talk on the research behind the representation of girls in children's books.