Conference Policies

Cancellation Policies

The PLA 2020 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. The event’s operating hours, schedules, guests, and speakers are subject to change or cancellation without notice.

Attendee Cancellation Policy

All registration cancellations and refund requests for the event, including preconferences and meal events, must be made in writing by Friday, January 31, 2020, and are subject to a $30 handling fee. No telephone cancellations/refund requests can be accepted. After Friday, January 31, 2020, no requests for refunds will be accepted and no exceptions will be made to the policy. Registrations made after Friday, January 31, 2020 are nonrefundable. Exhibits-Only and Exhibits-Plus badges are nonrefundable. Refunds meeting the above criteria will be processed by Monday, March 30, 2020.

Substitutions of registrations, including preconferences and meal events, are permitted prior to the conference and must be made in writing. No telephone substitution requests can be accepted. The individual submitting the substitution request is responsible for all financial obligations (any balance due) associated with that substitution. Badge sharing, splitting, and reprints are strictly prohibited. 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 1, 2019, 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 1, 2019, exhibitors are liable for 100% of the cost of space.

Appropriate Conduct

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:
    • Music City Center security, emergency, local law enforcement and medical (emergency and non-emergency) – Contact information will be provided prior to the conference.
    • Local taxi company(s) – Local Transportation
    • Other local services, e.g. hotlines – The Nashville Health Department's Behavioral Health Services provides screening and referral for Substance Use/Abuse and Mental Health Issues. Full-time professional counselors are available Monday through Friday, at Lentz Public Health Center, 2500 Charlotte Avenue, to conduct assessments and make referrals to local counseling agencies for persons age 18 and older needing Substance Abuse or Mental Health services. Its webpage includes referrals to crisis resources as well as substance use/abuse and other mental health services. These resources include important phone numbers and supports in Nashville.
  • 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

Community Guidelines

This website is sponsored by the Public Library Association as a tool to convey information and generate community discussion about the PLA Conference. Lively commentary, opinion, and reaction to social media posts are welcome but may be moderated by PLA staff. Comments should be relevant to the specific post to which they refer. PLA reserves the right to remove, or not to post, comments unrelated to the mission of the blog. Spam, flaming, personal attacks, and off-topic comments are not permitted.

Conference Media Policy

PLA Conference is a professional event. It is not open to the public. Those requesting media registration must be currently employed or retained by a news organization. Each organization is limited to no more than five media representatives, except newsletters, which are limited to one. Account representatives, sales executives, book authors, and engineers do not meet the criteria for media registration. Please review the full policy, including how to request media registration.


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 discovered, 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

Free Speech

Any registered conference attendee can protest peacefully during the conference. However, if the protest becomes disruptive or causes a safety concern, the protestors will be asked to stop by security or PLA staff. Note that allowing peaceful protest does not in any way constitute endorsement by PLA.

Personal Data Notification

The ALA (American Library Association and its units) and the ALA-APA (Allied Professional Association) (collectively “ALA”) use the personal data you provide to the ALA to process membership, inform you of products, services, conferences, education opportunities, events and for other purposes which are within the Association’s mission. To accomplish these actions, ALA contracts with third-parties who gather and process personal data to complete interactions such as online purchases, conference registration, and fulfillment. The personal data as provided is processed and stored as a legitimate Interest to the ALA in order to fulfill your requests for information and services from ALA.

For more information, review ALA’S PRIVACY POLICY.

Photographic Images

Registration and attendance at, or participation in, the PLA 2020 Conference constitutes an agreement by the registrant to PLA’s use and distribution of the registrant or attendee’s image or voice in photographs, electronic reproductions, and video or audio recordings of such events and activities.

Use of Conference Logo

The custom logos of the PLA 2020 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 Rhonda Grizzard at Corcoran Expositions at 312-265-9665 or; all others should contact PLA at 800-545-2433 x5PLA (x5752) or