How READ Posters Get Made

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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:

1985
Bette Midler
Bill Cosby
Mikhail Baryshnikov
Sting

1986
George Burns
Goldie Hawn

1987
David Bowie
Diahann Carrol
Paul Newman

1988
Michael J. Fox
Oprah
Phil Collins
Ruben Blades

1989
Isiah Thomas
Steve Martin
William Hurt

1990
Bo Jackson
Glenn Close
Kirk Cameron

1991
Denzel Washington
Harrison Ford
REM

1992
Alec Baldwin
Jimmy Smits
Michael Chang
Michael Keaton
Whoopi Goldberg

1993
Graham Greene
Jackie Joyner-Kersee
Kristi Yamaguchi
Roseanne Arnold
Sean Connery

1994
Edward James Olmos
Elvis
Marlee Matlin
Michael Bolton
Spike Lee

1995
Branford Marsalis
Geena Davis
Little Women
Matt Dillon
Shaquille O'Neil

1996
Antonio Banderas
Barbara Walters
Courtney Cox
Danny Glover
Dr. Quinn Cast
Lawrence Bros.
Mel Gibson
Michelle Pfeiffer
Morgan Freeman
Tim Allen

1997
Bill Gates
Bill Nye
Brandy (Norwood)
Cindy Crawford
Fabio
Hercules
Jay Leno
LL Cool J
Nicolas Cage
Oprah
Power Rangers
Rob Schneider
Rosie O'Donnell
Xena (Lucy Lawless)

1998
Emeril Lagasse
Grant Hill
Kim Basinger
Muammad Ali
Olsen Twins

1999
Ani DiFranco
Melissa Etheridge
Michelle Kwan
Monica
Rebecca Lobo

2000
Christina Ricci
Enrique Iglesias
Regis Philbin
Stephen Hawking
Tara Dakides

2001
Britney Spears
Chamique Holdsclaw
Coolio
Dr. Ruth
Elijah Wood/Lord of the Rings
Ian McKellen/Lord of the Rings
Kristine Lilly
Liv Tyler/Lord of the Rings
Marion Jones
Mike Mussina
Susan Sarandon
Tim Robbins
Weird Al
Yo-Yo Ma

2002
Firefighter
Indigo Girls
LeVar Burton
Salma Hayek
Serena Williams
Tony Hawk

2003
Bernie Mac
Jason Kidd
Julia Stiles
Landon Donovan
Matt Kenseth
Missy Elliott

2004
Jeff Corwin
Orlando Bloom
Renée Fleming
Rick Bayless
Trace Adkins

2005
Aishwarya Rai
Anthony Hopkins
Colin Farrell
Ethan Hawke
George Lopez
Ice Cube
Jamie Kennedy
Johnny Damon
Keira Knightly
Margaret Cho
Mat Hoffman

2006
Alan Rickman
Ben Roethlisberger
Cedric the Entertainer
Dakota Fanning
Danica Patrick
John Leguizamo
Kelly Ripa
New York Rangers
Sasha Cohen

2007
Cesar Millan
Corbin Bleu
Ewan McGregor
Hilary Swank
Los Lonely Boys
Sendhil Ramamurthy
William H. Macy

2008
Abigail Breslin
Common
Eva Mendes
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Rachael Ray
Steve Carell/Get Smart
The Wayans
Tim Gunn
Tony Hawk
Twilight (Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart)

2009
Hugh Laurie
America Ferrera
Jeffrey Dean Morgan
Yao Ming
Cole Hamels
Rachel McAdams
Jonas Brothers
Ne-yo
Brenda Song
New Moon (Taylor Lautner)

2010
Rachel Maddow
Seth Meyers
Taraji P Henson
Queen Rania al Abdullah of Jordan
Eclipse (Dakota Fanning)
Sherlock Holmes (Robert Downey Jr & Jude Law)
Nathan Fillion
 

 


 

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