Imagine the Possibilities

Statement of Appropriate Conduct at PLA Conferences

The Public Library Association, a division of the American Library Association, holds professional conferences to enable its members to receive continuing education, build professional networks, and discover new products and services for professional use. To provide all participants—members and other attendees, speakers, exhibitors, staff, and volunteers—the opportunity to benefit from the event, the Public Library Association is committed to providing a harassment-free environment for everyone, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, disability, physical appearance, ethnicity, religion, or other group identity.

As an association, PLA is strongly committed to diversity, equity, and the free expression of ideas. These values have been repeatedly delineated in ALA policy (for instance: Policy A.1.4 – Core Organizational Values; Policy B.1.1 – Core Values of Librarianship; Policy B.1.2 – Code of Professional Ethics). Taken cumulatively, the values and beliefs delineated within ALA policy describe conduct based on a firm belief in the value of civil discourse and the free exploration of competing ideas and concepts—with a fundamental respect for the rights, dignity, and value of all persons.

Within the context of ALA policy and the professional practices of librarianship, critical examination of beliefs and viewpoints does not, by itself, constitute hostile conduct or harassment. Similarly, use of sexual imagery or language in the context of a professional discussion might not constitute hostile conduct or harassment.

PLA seeks to provide a conference environment in which diverse participants may learn, network, and enjoy the company of colleagues in an environment of mutual human respect. We recognize a shared responsibility to create and hold that environment for the benefit of all. Some behaviors are, therefore, specifically prohibited:

  • Harassment or intimidation based on race, religion, language, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, disability, appearance, or other group status.
  • Sexual harassment or intimidation, including unwelcome sexual attention, stalking (physical or virtual), or unsolicited physical contact.
  • Yelling at or threatening speakers (verbally or physically).

Speakers are asked to frame discussions as openly and inclusively as possible and to be aware of how language or images may be perceived by others. Participants may—and do—exercise the “law of two feet.” Exhibitors must follow all PLA Exhibits rules and regulations and ALA policies.

All participants are expected to observe these rules and behaviors in all conference venues, including online venues, and conference social events. Participants asked to stop a hostile or harassing behavior are expected to comply immediately. Conference participants seek to learn, network, and have fun. Please do so responsibly and with respect for the right of others to do likewise.

Please contact PLA staff in the PLA Office at conference (location and phone number TBD) if you believe you have been harassed or that a harassment problem exists. All such reports will be directed immediately to the PLA Executive Director, who will determine and carry out the appropriate course of action, and who may consult with and engage other PLA/ALA staff, leaders, and legal counsel as appropriate. Event security and/or local law enforcement may be involved, as appropriate based on the specific circumstances. A follow-up report will be made to individuals who report being harassed.

Prior to each PLA Conference, PLA staff will make the following information available:

  • Emergency contact information:
    • Pennsylvania Convention Center security, emergency, local law enforcement and medical (emergency and non-emergency) – All emergency calls should go through the Command Station so they can dispatch first responders to the correct location in the Convention Center; from any house phone dial 4911 or from a cell phone, dial 215-418-4911. DO NOT dial 911 directly.
    • Local taxi company(s) – Local Transportation
    • Other local services, e.g. hotlines – The Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services (DBHIDS) has put together a list of resources to help people connect with the right professional, peer, social, community-based and self-help care. These resources include important phone numbers and supports found in Philadelphia’s neighborhoods.
  • Information on how to report incidents of any sort to Conference Management (following the conference please contact Barb Macikas, PLA Executive Director, at 312-280-5028 or

For questions about…

Cancellation Policy

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.

Attendee 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.

Exhibitor Cancellation Policy

All booth space cancellation requests must be received in writing by Show Management (Corcoran Expositions). If space is reduced, the net reduction of space will be treated as a cancellation of that space. If Show Management receives a written request for cancellation of space on or before October 31, 2017, the exhibitor will be eligible for a refund less the nonrefundable deposit of $950 per 100 square feet of exhibit space. For cancellations received after October 31, 2017, exhibitors are liable for 100% of the cost of space.


Print and electronic advertising opportunities are available to reach PLA members and attendees both before and during the conference.


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


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.

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, Mary Michalik at 312-265-9650,; or Matt McLaughlin at 312-265-9655,

Thank You PLA 2018 Conference Sponsors!

Other Questions

Many commonly asked questions are answered in our FAQ. If you don’t find the information you’re looking for, please contact PLA at 800-545-2433 x5PLA (x5752) or Or the PLA Staff directory may help you find just the right person to ask.

PLA 2016 Archive

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

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