In addition to the hundreds of celebrity suggestions from librarians, teachers, readers and fans, ALA Graphics staff seeks out celebrities from a wide range of occupations: movie and TV stars, comedians, athletes, musicians, innovators, heroic figures and the like. We try to find highly recognizable–and therefore popular–celebrities. We also consider a variety of ethnic and cultural backgrounds to reach the diverse populations libraries serve.
We track all suggestions to monitor their popularity among library staff, students, and patrons, and if demand for a celebrity emerges, we add the name to the list. We discuss possible celebrities with an informal group of librarians. With all of this information at hand, we select iconic celebrities who we feel will best encourage reading, literacy, and life-long learning among children, teens, and adults alike.
The second part of the process can be considerably more difficult–contacting representatives for each celebrity and getting them to sign on. It may surprise you to know that not all the personalities we contact want to participate, as many are contacted so frequently for celebrity appearances. We often receive suggestions for celebrities that we have contacted on numerous occasions, but can’t persuade to participate.
A celebrity who signs on for the READ campaign can choose to hold any book of his or her choice. Some choose a recent read, others a childhood favorite, or something that has inspired them in their life. The professional photoshoots most often happen in Los Angeles or New York, where the celebrities and their photographers tend to be. None of our celebrity subjects are compensated for lending their image to the campaign.
We encourage ideas and feedback on how we may better serve our members and customers. You can send celebrity READ poster suggestions or other product ideas to the ALA Graphics Graphics Advisory (GRAD) Community on ALA Connect.
Did you know you can make your own READ posters using the READ Design Studio from ALA Graphics? Ask your librarian or teacher to invest in this fun idea! It's available at the ALA Store.
Here is a list of every celebrity who has posed for a READ (or LISTEN) poster so far:
Michael J. Fox
Edward James Olmos
Dr. Quinn Cast
LL Cool J
Xena (Lucy Lawless)
Elijah Wood/Lord of the Rings
Ian McKellen/Lord of the Rings
Liv Tyler/Lord of the Rings
Cedric the Entertainer
New York Rangers
Los Lonely Boys
William H. Macy
Steve Carell/Get Smart
Twilight (Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart)
Jeffrey Dean Morgan
New Moon (Taylor Lautner)
Taraji P Henson
Queen Rania al Abdullah of Jordan
Eclipse (Dakota Fanning)
Sherlock Holmes (Robert Downey Jr & Jude Law)