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2020 Conference Information





Pennsylvania Library Association
2020 VIRTUAL Conference & Expo
October 19 - 21, 2020

"Not Just Another Zoom Meeting!"

Given the uncertainty related to the COVID-19 pandemic and with the well-being of all conference participants in mind, the PaLA Board made the difficult decision to move the format of the conference from in-person to virtual. The PaLA Conference provides the library community with a variety of continuing education, supplier resources and networking opportunities. This year, we are excited to announce that all of this will occur in an engaging, virtual format!

The 2020 Virtual Conference will offer:

  • Five Keynote Sessions (Hear from the experts!)
  • 60+ Educational Breakout Sessions (Plus extended access for most sessions beyond the live event.)
  • Live Q&A with presenters (Yes, live!)
  • Live exhibitor engagement (Learn about the latest library product & service innovations from the experts!)
  • Poster Sessions (Informal educational opportunities from your peers!)
  • Gamification & Prizes
  • Networking with colleagues in the virtual lobby and throughout the 3-day live event!
  • No travel or lodging expenses
  • Comfy dress code & seating, plus personalized meals & snacks!

You won't want to miss it!  Attendee Registration Information

Conference Schedule Highlights

There's a lot in store!  Conference programming will take place from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. each day, with special evening activities Monday and Tuesday evenings from 7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.

  • Monday morning, join us for an informational Virtual Conference 101 session as we explore the conference platform and provide tips on how to get the most out of your virtual conference experience.
  • Andrea Jamison, lecturer in library science and chair of the American Library Association’s Ethnic and Multicultural Information Exchange Round Table will officially kick off the conference with her keynote presentation, The Courage to Change: Creating Libraries that Matter. 
  • Grab a bite and join us each day from noon to 1 p.m.for a presentation from our Lunch & Learn Series:
    • Monday: We'll conduct an interview with this year's Carolyn W. Field Award Winner, Brittney Morris author of Slayand discuss the relevance of her book in the current world.
    • Tuesday: Sofia Leung, CEO, Do Better, Be Better LLC will present "Ordinary" Existence of Racism & White Supremacy in LIS and will lead us on an exploration of racism in libraries and archives and how we can do better in our day-to-day work as we move forward as a profession.
    • Wednesday: Ben Bizzle, Founder & CEO, Library Market will present  You Are the Brand - How Everyone Plays a Role in the Library Story with tips on the what and how of telling a better story for your library.
  • Join us for a new spin on our Trivia competition Monday evening from 7:00 - 8:30 p.m. (Additional fee to benefit the David J. Roberts EXCEL Award program)
  • Tuesday evening will feature a special author event, Wanderers & Followers, with an interview with authors, Chuck Wendig (Wanderers) and Megan Angelo (Followers) about these fascinating books and how current events and social behaviors influenced their stories, and how they could play out in the future. (Additional fee)
  • Finally, Melanie Townsend Diggs, 2016 Lemony Snickett Award Winner (presented to noble librarians faced with adversity) will deliver the Closing Keynote session, A Beacon of Light in Adversity.  Hear the fascinating story behind the decision to keep her library open as a safe haven in the midst of the 2015 Baltimore riots.

Read more about our conference keynoters

All of the above will be presented exclusively during the live, virtual event.  But, there's lot's more - View the entire session roster, with session descriptions here:

Conference Planning Committee

The 2020 Conference Planning Committee is hard at work under the direction of chair, Sylvia Orner, Head of Technical Services, Scranton Public Library.  If you would like to volunteer to serve on a committee, please contact the appropriate chair to express your interest. 2020 Conference Committee

Conference Sponsors

This exciting, new educational event would not be possible without the financial support of our sponsors!  Please thank them!  2020 Sponsors

Want to Join this Special Group of Library Supporters and Enhance Your Presence before Hundreds of Library Professionals?   Sponsorship Information




The Pennsylvania Library Association values our exhibitor partners as experts on innovations in library products and services that enable library professionals to do their work more effectively and efficiently. 

The Library Products & Services Expo offers one of the best opportunities to reach decision-makers in the Pennsylvania library community and this will remain even in the virtual format.  Virtual exhibit booths will include links to company websites, product demo videos, downloadable sales materials, the ability for attendees and exhibitors to converse in the public booth chat or via one-on-one video chats.  All, without the time and expense of travel!

2020 Exhibit Information

Library Program Providers

Calling all Magicians, Musicians, Scientists, Storytellers and more!  We invite you to showcase your talent to an audience of library professionals in our Performers Showcase area to take place during the PaLA virtual conference.  Learn more.

Contact Us

220 Cumberland Parkway, Suite 10
Mechanicsburg, PA 17055
717-766-7663 Phone
717-766-5440 Fax
800-622-3308 (PA Only)