General Sessions & Special Events

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

General Sessions

Get ready to be inspired, energized, and entertained by PLA 2020 speakers! Additional speakers and events to be announced soon.

Stacey Abrams thumbnailOPENING SESSION WITH STACEY ABRAMS
Wednesday, February 26, 2:00 PM–3:30 PM

PLA is excited to welcome author, serial entrepreneur, nonprofit CEO, and political leader Stacey Abrams as our Opening Session speaker! More…


Samantha Bee thumbnailCLOSING SESSION WITH SAMANTHA BEE
Saturday, February 29, 12:00 PM–1:00 PM

Wrap up the PLA 2020 Conference with one of the most unique and sharp comedic voices on television, Samantha Bee, star of the late-night show Full Frontal with Samantha Bee. More…


BIG IDEAS SERIES
The Big Ideas Series, PLA’s version of “TED Talks,” kicks off each day with an inspiring speaker sure to challenge your mind and spark your creativity. Stay tuned for announcements on who will be taking center stage Saturday morning to start your day with some Big Ideas.

Dr. Bettina Love thumbnailBig Ideas with Dr. Bettina Love
Thursday, February 27, 8:00 AM–9:00 AM

Dr. Bettina L. Love is an award-winning author and associate professor of educational theory and practice at the University of Georgia. Her research focuses on the ways in which urban youth negotiate Hip Hop music and culture to form social, cultural, and political identities and how teachers and schools working with parents and communities can build communal, civically engaged schools rooted in intersectional social justice for the goal of equitable classrooms. More…

Haben Girma thumbnailBig Ideas with Haben Girma
Friday, February 28, 8:00 AM–9:00 AM

The first Deafblind person to graduate from Harvard Law School, Haben Girma advocates for equal opportunities for people with disabilities. A talented storyteller who helps people frame difference as an asset, she travels the world teaching organizations the benefits of fully accessible products and services. More…


Book Buzz: Presented by BooklistBOOK BUZZ: PRESENTED BY BOOKLIST
Wednesday, February 26, 9:30 AM–10:30 AM
Get the inside scoop on the best upcoming books from a panel of premier publisher representatives. More…

Special Events

Back by popular demand, these special events will spice up your day, help you discover new ideas, and get the creativity flowing!

SPARK TALKS
Thursday, February 27, 5:15 PM–6:15 PM
Friday, February 28, 4:45 PM–5:45 PM

Get fueled with great ideas in this fan-favorite program where your peers will educate, inspire, and entertain—all in under five minutes!

BOOK BUZZ STAGE
Hear the latest publisher buzz for 2020 at the Book Buzz Stage, located in the Exhibits Hall!

HOW-TO FESTIVAL
From programming ideas to crafts to gaining life skills—the How-To Festival is a great way to get some bite-sized learning and have a little fun!

ANYTHINK LIBRARIES & THE BUBBLER
Anythink Libraries (Adams County, CO) is teaming up once again with “The Bubbler,” a Madison (WI) Public Library program that connects artists to the community through free, hands-on making, exhibitions, and community events. Staff from these libraries will offer PLA Conference attendees an immersive experience demonstrating how art can be used as a vehicle for meaningful engagement with patrons of diverse backgrounds and interests, positioning libraries as catalysts for creativity and innovation.

CAREER CENTER
Résumé reviews, speed mentoring, interview coaching, and more! The career center will have scheduled events—including career “how-to” lessons—and will also be open during conference hours for job posting or impromptu interviews

ALL-CONFERENCE RECEPTION
Friday, February 28, 6:00 PM–8:00 PM

Join your fellow attendees on Friday for an evening of fun, food, and dancing—this is Music City after all! The reception will also include a cake-cutting ceremony commemorating PLA’s 75th anniversary.