Imagine the Possibilities

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Imagine the Possibilities

Philadelphia skyline as seen from the One Liberty Observation Deck

Photo courtesy of One Liberty Observation Deck

PLA is heading to Philadelphia for the PLA 2018 Conference, March 20–24, 2018, and we want to make sure you’re coming, too…

Registration is now open! The Early Bird registration discount—available to PLA and Pennsylvania Library Association (PaLA) personal members only—expires January 19, 2018.

Everyone should register by February 23, 2018, to take advantage of Advanced registration discounts.

Want to take advantage of the Early Bird discount but not a PLA Personal Member? Join today and receive 50% off the nonmember advanced rate!

Conference registration is required to book housing, so reserve your room at the same time if registering online. Review our list of hotels.

Call for Proposals

Interested in being a presenter at PLA Conference?
Although the call for proposals for programs and preconferences has passed, it’s not too late…

How-To Festival

We’re now accepting proposals for 20-minute hands-on sessions to share “how-to” expertise during the How-To Festival!

The How-To Festival is a cooperative learning experience, teaching practical, hands-on skills that can be learned in short sessions. It’s presented as a fun way for attendees to experience a taste of the wildly successful How-to Festival that attracts 4,000 individuals to the Louisville (Ky.) Free Public Library every May.

Propose a How-To Festival Session »

Spark Talks

And in January you’ll have the opportunity to propose a five-minute lightning-fast presentation for our popular Spark Talks, to ignite new ideas in your public library colleagues. Want to be notified when we begin accepting proposals for Spark Talks?

Notify me about Spark Talks proposals »

Daily Schedule

7:30 AM–5:00 PM Registration

9:00 AM–5:00 PM Full Day Preconferences

2:00–5:00 PM Half Day Preconferences

7:30 AM–6:30 PM Registration

9:00 AM–12:00 PM Half Day Preconferences

9:30–10:30 AM Book Buzz: Presented by Booklist

10:45–11:45 AM Imagine the Possibilities with Kari Chapin

2:00–3:30 PM Opening Session

3:30–6:30 PM Exhibits Opening Reception

7:00–8:00 AM American Association of Publishers Children’s Author Breakfast

7:30 AM–5:30 PM Registration

8:15–9:15 AM Big Ideas with Elizabeth Gilbert

9:30 AM–5:00 PM Exhibits

9:30–10:45 AM Exhibits Coffee Break

10:45–11:45 AM Programs

12:00–1:30 PM Author Lunch

2:00–3:00 PM Programs

3:00–4:00 PM Exhibits Coffee Break

4:00–5:00 PM Programs

5:15–6:15 PM Spark Talks

6:30–8:30 PM Audio Publishers Association Dinner

7:30 AM–4:00 PM Registration

8:15–9:15 AM Big Ideas with Steve Pemberton

9:30 AM–2:00 PM Exhibits

9:30–10:45 AM Exhibits Coffee Break

10:45–11:45 AM Programs

12:00–1:30 PM Author Lunch with Matt de la Peña & Jacqueline Woodson

1:30–2:00 PM Exhibits Closing Reception

2:00–3:00 PM Programs

4:00–5:00 PM Programs

5:15–6:15 PM Spark Talks

5:30–7:00 PM All Conference Reception

8:00–10:00 AM Registration

8:15–9:15 AM Big Ideas Saturday

9:30–10:30 AM Programs

10:45–11:45 AM Programs

12:00–1:00 PM Closing Session with Hasan Minhaj*

Special Events

General Sessions

Admission to all general sessions is included with Full Conference registrations and Exhibits-Plus badges.
Single-Day registrants can attend all general sessions on the day for which they’ve registered.

Variety of books


Wednesday, March 21, 9:30–10:30 AM

Get the inside scoop on the best upcoming books from a panel of premier publisher representatives.

Imagine the Possibilities with Kari Chapin


Wednesday, March 21, 10:45–11:45 AM

Best-selling author, speaker, teacher, and professional pep talk administrator Kari Chapin returns to PLA 2018 to help us imagine the possibilities! Join us Wednesday morning to learn how to make the most of your time at conference, adapt the ideas you learn, and unleash your creativity and imagination. More »

Opening Session


Wednesday, March 21, 2:00–3:30 PM

Stay tuned… we have something exciting in the works!

Exhibits Opening Reception


Wednesday, March 21, 3:30–6:30 PM

Get a first look at the products and services offered by our exhibiting companies… and enjoy some food and drink while you’re at it. More »

Big Ideas with Elizabeth Gilbert


Thursday, March 22, 8:15–9:15 AM

Kick off PLA’s Big Ideas Series with bestselling author Elizabeth Gilbert, best known for her 2006 memoir Eat, Pray, Love. More »

PLA 2018 Skyline


Thursday, March 22, 5:15–6:15 PM

Join us for our first evening of up-to-the minute, fast moving talks on the latest and greatest ideas from your public library colleagues.

Big Ideas with Steve Pemberton


Friday, March 23, 8:15–9:15 AM

On Friday morning, our Big Ideas Series continues with Steve Pemberton and his highly motivational messages: Believe in your dreams, rise above obstacles, create opportunities for others, and most of all, persevere. More »

Exhibits Closing Reception


Friday, March 23, 1:30–2:00 PM

Take one last look around the exhibits and network with vendors and colleagues during this social reception. More »

PLA 2018 Skyline


Friday, March 23, 5:15–6:15 PM

Join us for a second evening of up-to-the minute, fast moving talks on the latest and greatest ideas from your public library colleagues.

All Conference Reception


Friday, March 23, 5:30–7:00 PM

Meet and mingle (and dance!) with your fellow attendees at this fun conference celebration.

PLA 2018 Skyline


Saturday, March 24, 8:15–9:15 AM

One last BIG idea to send you home from conference bursting with new knowledge! So be sure to join us for this conference favorite on Saturday morning.

Closing Session with Hasan Minhaj


Saturday, March 24, 12:00–1:00 PM

Wrap up the PLA 2018 Conference in a big way with Hasan Minhaj! More »

Author Events

Author Events

Take a break and enjoy a literary meal with renowned and award-winning authors.
Each author event requires a separately priced admission.

PLA 2018 Skyline


Thursday, March 22, 7:00–8:00 AM

New at PLA 2018… a free Children’s Author breakfast! Don’t delay. Registration for this event is required and space is limited.

PLA 2018 Skyline


Thursday, March 22, 12:00–1:30 PM

Stay tuned… we have an exciting author lunch to announce!

Audio Publishers Association Dinner with Marley Dias, Kate DiCamillo, Joshilyn Jackson & Atz Kilcher


Thursday, March 22, 6:30–8:30 PM

A PLA Conference favorite, be sure to register for this special evening of engaging authors, audio voices, and delicious food. More »

Author Lunch with Matt de la Peña & Jacqueline Woodson


Friday, March 23, 12:00–1:30 PM

PLA is pleased to welcome award-winning authors Matt de la Peña and Jacqueline Woodson as Author Lunch speakers. More »

Conference Exhibits

Find products, ideas, and solutions for your library in the PLA Exhibits Hall, located in the Pennsylvania Convention Center, 1101 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107.
Browse hundreds of booths and see the latest in publications, media, technology, equipment, services, and supplies.
See a list of who’s coming so far.

3:30–6:30 PM Exhibits Opening Reception

9:30 AM Exhibits Open

9:30–10:45 AM Exhibits Hall Coffee Break

3:00–4:00 PM Exhibits Hall Coffee Break

5:00 PM Exhibits Close for the Day

9:30 AM Exhibits Open

9:30–10:45 AM Exhibits Hall Coffee Break

1:30–2:00 PM Exhibits Closing Reception

2:00 PM Exhibits Close

For questions about…

Cancellation Policy

Written cancellations, requests for refunds, and/or changes will be accepted until February 23, 2018, and are subject to a $30 handling fee. Refunds will be processed after April 23, 2018. According to PLA policy, all meal events require preregistration. The above cancellation/change information also applies to all preconferences, meal events, and tours. No meal tickets will be sold onsite.

The PLA 2018 Conference is offered on a cost-recovery basis. PLA reserves the right to cancel all or any part of this event if there is insufficient registration or for other reasons. Neither ALA nor PLA is responsible for cancellation charges assessed by the airlines or travel agencies, or other losses incurred due to the cancellation of the workshops. All information listed on this website is subject to change.


PLA has put in place features to ensure the conference is accessible to all.

Appropriate Conduct

All participants are expected to observe the rules and behaviors described in the Statement of Appropriate Conduct in all conference venues, including online venues, and conference social events.


There is no formal dress code at the PLA Conference. What’s most important is to dress for comfort.


Canvassing of PLA Conference attendees during programs and at the conference venue (outside of the areas approved by PLA for exhibitors) is strictly prohibited. If this activity is encountered, violators will be directed to cease immediately. PLA provides many opportunities for representatives from for-profit and non-profit organizations to make conference attendees aware of their services and products. These include: exhibiting, advertising, sponsoring, and as approved by PLA, program planning. For information on participating in PLA Conferences and professional development events, contact the PLA office at 800-545-2433 x5PLA (x5752) or

Conference Logo

The custom logos of the PLA 2018 Conference are the property of PLA. Anyone wishing to use the logos in their communications and promotional materials must: 1) Seek permission from PLA; and 2) Submit communication/artwork incorporating the logo to PLA for final approval. The logo may not be modified and must be reproduced in its entirety (i.e., no outlines, cropping). To request the use of the logo, companies should contact Carly DiVito at Corcoran Expositions at 312-541-0567 or; all others should contact PLA at 800-545-2433 x5PLA (x5752) or


Interested in exhibiting at PLA 2018? Contact Carly DiVito, Corcoran Expositions, at 312-541-0567 or


The official conference hashtag is #PLA2018.


Contact Macey Morales, Deputy Director, ALA Public Awareness Office, 312-280-4393 or Please review our conference media policy.


ALA and PLA membership is managed by the ALA Membership & Customer Service (MACS) unit. You can join or renew/rejoin/add to your membership using ALA’s secure online form; or you can print and fill out a membership form and fax or mail it in; or call 800-545-2433 and press 5. Direct your membership questions to MACS at or 800-545-2433 and press 5. MACS representatives are available Monday–Friday, 8:30 AM–4:30 PM Central.

Photographic Images

Registration and attendance at or participation in the PLA 2018 Conference constitutes an agreement by the registrant to PLA’s use and distribution of the registrant or attendee’s image or voice in photographs, videotapes, electronic reproductions, and audiotapes of such events and activities.

Registration & Housing

Problems or questions regarding registration or housing? Contact Experient at or 800-424-5249 (U.S. and Canada)/847-996-5829 (all other countries). Experient representatives are available Monday–Friday, 9:00 AM–6:00 PM Eastern.


To discuss PLA 2018 sponsorship opportunities, contact Corcoran Expositions, Matt McLaughlin at 312-265-9655,

Thank You PLA 2018 Conference Sponsors!


Most conference events—including all preconferences and concurrent program sessions—will take place in the Pennsylvania Convention Center, 1101 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107. Additional events will be held at the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown, 1201 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107, and other venues as indicated.

Other Questions

Contact PLA, 800-545-2433 x5PLA (x5752) or; or find someone to help in the PLA Staff directory.

PLA 2016 Archive

Looking for handouts and other information from the PLA 2016 Conference, which took place April 5–9, 2016 in Denver, Colo.? The PLA 2016 Conference website has been archived at

View the list of past PLA Conferences from 1983 to present.