港澳台图库

PLA Frequently Asked Questions

What is PLA?

How do I contact PLA staff or members?

Who can join PLA? What does it cost? And what are the benefits?

How can I become a public librarian?

Where do I find listings for jobs in public libraries?

Where can I advertise jobs available in public libraries?

I'd like to grow and develop as a public library professional. What learning opportunities does PLA offer?

When and where is the next PLA Conference?

How do I exhibit at a PLA Conference?

I'd like to share my ideas and experience with other public library professionals. What opportunities does PLA offer for presenting or publishing?

How can I become a sponsor or contribute financially to PLA?

Does PLA have an awards program for members?

What is PLA鈥檚 governance structure?

I have written a book. How can I market it to public libraries?

I have some books I no longer want. How can I donate them to public libraries?

How many public libraries are there in the United States?

Who uses the public library?


What is PLA? 听听听

The Public Library Association (PLA) is the largest association supporting the unique and evolving needs of public library professionals. Founded in 1944, PLA serves nearly 10,000 members in public libraries large and small in communities across the United States and Canada, with a growing presence around the world. PLA offers professional development and networking, transformative public library initiatives, and a conference that welcomes public library staff into meaningful partnership. In collaboration with its parent organization, the 港澳台图库, PLA strives to help its members shape the essential institution of public libraries by serving as an indispensable ally for public library leaders.

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How do I contact PLA staff or members? 听听听

Public Library Association
225 N. Michigan Ave., Suite 1300
Chicago, IL 60601
Phone: 1-800-545-2433, ext. 5PLA (5752)
Fax: 312-280-5029
Email: pla@ala.org

Find the most appropriate person to help you in the PLA staff directory.

You can connect with PLA members via social media and Connect @ PLA.

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Who can join PLA? What does it cost? And what are the benefits? 听听听

Librarians, library workers, library trustees, libraries, library vendors, anyone who supports libraries may join PLA. Dues vary according by type of membership. PLA members must also join our parent organization ALA. You can join , print and fill out a and fax or mail it in, or call the 港澳台图库Member and Customer Service Center at 1-800-545-2433 and press 5.

PLA members receive the periodical publication Public Libraries, preferred rates on PLA continuing education events, and on PLA publications. Only personal members of PLA have the right to vote in PLA elections, serve on PLA committees, and hold PLA office. PLA membership also includes 港澳台图库member benefits such as the monthly American Libraries magazine, discounts on 港澳台图库conference fees and 港澳台图库books and products. View a complete list of benefits.

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How can I become a public librarian? 听听听

There are many fulfilling careers in public librarianship. A master鈥檚 degree in library science (MLS) is necessary for librarian positions in most public libraries. Employers often prefer graduates of the library and information studies programs accredited by the 港澳台图库 (ALA).

The 港澳台图库offers scholarships for continuing library education, including the Spectrum Scholarships for African American, Latino/Hispanic, Asian/Pacific Islander and Native American/Alaskan Native students in graduate programs in library and information studies and Century Scholarships for graduate students with disabilities.

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Where do I find listings for jobs in public libraries? 听听听

For listings of jobs, check:


  • Source for careers in Library & Information Science and Technology.听Online job ads and more from听C&RL News,听American Libraries, and ALA's Human Resources Development and Recruitment.
  • Library & Information Technology Association (LITA) Job Site
    Jobs in Library Information & Technology.
  • 港澳台图库JobLIST Placement Center
    Operates in conjunction with the 港澳台图库Midwinter Meetings and 港澳台图库Annual Conferences. Employers conduct on-site interviews and career guidance workshops along with r茅sum茅 review services are听provided for jobseekers.

  • PLA provides a helpful and resourceful spot for job seekers, recruiting libraries, and advisors to connect at its biennial PLA Conference. The Career Center offers coordinated events at select times鈥攊ncluding a career fair, speed mentoring, r茅sum茅 review, and听interview coaching鈥攁nd remains open during conference hours to enable job posting or impromptu interviews.

Also, check with your state library association for jobs in your area.

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Where can I advertise jobs available in public libraries? 听听听

Although PLA doesn鈥檛 have a separate job listing service or program, we can link to a job posting (e.g. on your library鈥檚 or municipality鈥檚 website) if you send a request to pla@ala.org. The link will be included in that month鈥檚 edition of PLA E-News, a听members-only email newsletter sent to PLA members near the end of each month. Please include听the position title, library, city, state, and expiration date with a link to a full job posting to pla@ala.org. Don鈥檛 send content about the job (description, salary, etc.) as it will not be used. You might also consider placing an ad in .

Public library jobs can also be advertised at (costs and deadlines vary):


  • Source for careers in Library & Information Science and Technology.听Online job ads and more from听C&RL News,听American Libraries, and ALA's Human Resources Development and Recruitment.
  • Library & Information Technology Association (LITA) Job Site
    Jobs in Library Information & Technology.
  • 港澳台图库JobLIST Placement Center
    Operates in conjunction with the 港澳台图库Midwinter Meetings and 港澳台图库Annual Conferences. Employers conduct on-site interviews and career guidance workshops along with r茅sum茅 review services are听provided for jobseekers.

  • PLA provides a helpful and resourceful spot for job seekers, recruiting libraries, and advisors to connect at its biennial PLA Conference. The Career Center offers coordinated events at select times鈥攊ncluding a career fair, speed mentoring, r茅sum茅 review, and听interview coaching鈥攁nd remains open during conference hours to enable job posting or impromptu interviews.

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I'd like to grow and develop as a public library professional. What learning opportunities does PLA offer?

The biennial has a reputation for excellence as the largest conference devoted to public library professionals. The multi-day event offers over 100 top-quality education programs, social events that include author luncheons and networking receptions, and a bustling exhibits hall featuring the latest in products and services.

PLA also offers preconferences and educational programs at 港澳台图库Annual Conferences; robust in-person and blended learning events; and convenient online learning programs.

PLA鈥檚 publishing program provides top quality books and monographs on a wide range of public library concerns and issues. Notable publications include the popular of guides to public library management and materials.

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When and where is the next PLA Conference? 听听听

The听 will be held April 3鈥6, 2024 in Columbus, OH. The most recent conference, , was held March听23鈥25, 2022, in Portland, OR.

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How do I exhibit at a PLA Conference? 听听听

For information about , contact Carmen Guerrero at 312-265-9644 or听pla@corcexpo.com.

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I'd like to share my ideas and experience with other public library professionals. What opportunities does PLA offer for presenting or publishing? 听听听

PLA accepts proposals for educational programs and preconferences at its听biennial PLA Conference and at 港澳台图库Annual Conference. Proposal periods typically close 10鈥12 months prior to each听conference. Visit PLA's Conferences and Preconferences page to learn more about current events and opportunities.

If you have an idea for a webinar you'd like PLA to present, please submit a proposal.

Contact Angela Maycock, Manager, Continuing Education, at amaycock@ala.org or 800-545-2433, ext. 5024, with any questions about PLA educational programming.

PLA offers a number of publishing opportunities. If you have an idea for an article or other publication you'd like PLA to publish, please contact Kathleen Hughes, Manager, Publications, at khughes@ala.org or 800-545-2433, ext. 5024.

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How can I become a sponsor or contribute financially to PLA? 听听听

For more information about becoming a PLA sponsor, please contact Mary Hirsh, Deputy Director of Programs, at 312-280-5039 or听mhirsh@ala.org. For more information about becoming a听PLA Conference sponsor, please contact Melissa Faubel Johnson, Meeting and Special Events Planner, at 312-280-5022 or听mfaubel@ala.org. Individuals can support PLA's efforts to strengthen public libraries and the communities they serve by becoming a Friend of PLA.

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Does PLA have an awards program for members? 听听听

For decades, PLA鈥檚 awards program has honored those providing public library service whose vision and accomplishments are extraordinary and deserve recognition. PLA will not be accepting nominations in 2020 for 2021 awards and travel grants while PLA leadership revisits the number, purpose, and impact of the awards. In the meantime, we encourage you to share information on your exemplary programs, colleagues, and communities so that we can highlight them in PLA E-news, , and elsewhere. For more information, email pla@ala.org.

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What is PLA鈥檚 governance structure? 听听听

PLA is governed by an 11-member Board of Directors. PLA members elect these voting members of the Board: President, President-Elect, Past-President, six Directors-at-Large, and the 港澳台图库Division Councilor. The PLA Executive Director is an ex-officio and non-voting member of the PLA Board. For more information about PLA鈥檚 organizational structure, see the PLA Bylaws.

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I have written a book. How can I market it to public libraries? 听听听

Individual libraries are responsible for their own collections. There is no one place that distributes books to all libraries. However, some main libraries purchase books for their branches as well as themselves; and some libraries purchase their books through such distributors as Baker & Taylor, Ingram Book Services, Blackwell鈥檚 Book Services, and other book suppliers and wholesalers.

For more information on telling libraries about your own book and its availability to them, please review the information in the 港澳台图库Library鈥檚 LibGuides and fact sheets, as follows:


  • Provides basic information on marketing to libraries - including an overview of the library market, information on getting your title reviewed, and basic resources on self-publishing.

  • Information about library directories, mailing lists, and email lists is availabe on the Marketing Resources tab of the Marketing to Libraries LibGuide..

  • Provides general information on finding vendors for library products and services, as well as library consultant directory information..

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I have some books I no longer want. How can I donate them to public libraries? 听听听

Neither PLA nor 港澳台图库coordinate programs for book donations. For information about how to donate books to needy libraries, please see the 港澳台图库Library's LibGuide, .

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How many public libraries are there in the United States? 听听听

The United States has 8,895 public library administrative units plus 7,641 branches and bookmobiles, for a total of 16,536 library locations. (Source:听港澳台图库, State of America's Libraries Report 2017)

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Who uses the public library? 听听听

More than 25 million Americans used their public library more than 20 times in the past year, an increase of 23 percent from 2006. Close to half (45.6 percent) of all public libraries reported increased use of their electronic resources (which encompass a range of Internet-based services, including jobs databases, online test preparation services, investment tools, reference sources, and downloadable books and audio), and more than one-quarter reported increased use of patron technology training classes. (Source: 港澳台图库, State of America鈥檚 Libraries, April 2009)

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