CHICAGO — The speaker slate is full to the brim for the Public Library Association (PLA) 2014 Conference, March 11-15, in Indianapolis. From motivators, to informers, to entertainers, to authors, there’s somebody to please everybody on the agenda.
Bookending the conference at the Opening and Closing Sessions are Bryan Stevenson and David Sedaris, respectively. Stevenson is the founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery, Ala., and his powerful message of equality and social justice will likely resonate with the work of our public library attendees. Fast forward four days and end conference on a high note with award-winning and best-selling author and humorist Sedaris. Come prepared to laugh.
New at PLA 2014 will be the Big Idea Series, invigorating, all-attendee sessions (included in the cost of conference) featuring thought-provoking speakers and presentations. Thursday morning, Simon Sinek, author of "Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action," will kick things off with a bold goal to help build a world in which the vast majority of people go home everyday feeling fulfilled by their work. Friday morning will feature three up and coming Big Idea thinkers, Megan McArdle ("The Up Side of Down: Why Failing Well Is the Key to Success"), David McRaney ("You Are Now Less Dumb: How to Conquer Mob Mentality, How to Buy Happiness, and All the Other Ways to Outsmart Yourself"), and Clive Thompson ("Smarter Than You Think: How Technology is Changing Our Minds for the Better"). The series will wrap up on Saturday morning with TIME magazine “Game Changer,” Amy Cuddy. She’ll show attendees how to channel nonverbal behavior into persuasive leadership, by demonstrating that physical posture not only affects how others see you, but also how you see yourself. It affects hormone levels, performance and important life outcomes.
PLA Conference is also known for its popular author events — several lunches and a special dinner that bring attendees close to some of their favorite wordsmiths. Special registration is required for these events. The Author Lunches include:
- Opening Lunch with Richard Ford ("Canada," “Bascombe Trilogy”) - Wednesday, March 12
- Adult Author Lunch with Jane Pauley ("Your Life Calling: Reimagining the Rest of Your Life") - Thursday, March 13
- Children’s Author Lunch with Brad Meltzer ("I Am Amelia Earhart, The Inner Circle") - Thursday, March 13
- Adult Author Lunch with Craig Johnson (“Walt Longmire Mystery Series”) and Lisa Unger ("Fragile," "Heartbroken") - Friday, March 14
- Young Adult Author Lunch with John Green ("Looking for Alaska," "The Fault in Our Stars") - Friday, March 14
And once again, the Audio Publishers Association Dinner, Thursday, March 13, brings together three best-selling authors and one award-winning narrator. Guests include Mary Kay Andrews ("The Fixer Upper," "Savannah Breeze"), Andre Dubus III ("Townie," "House of Sand and Fog"), Katherine Kellgren (2011 Booklist “Voice of Choice), and Walter Mosley ("Little Green," "Devil in a Blue Dress").
Offered biennially, the PLA Conference is the premier event for public libraries, drawing librarians, library support staff, trustees, friends and library vendors from across the country and around the world. Registration and housing is now open. Take advantage of Early Bird Registration rates before Jan. 10, 2014.
For more information about PLA, contact the PLA office at (800) 545-2433, ext. 5PLA, or visit PLA’s website at www.pla.org. PLA is a division of the American Library Association. PLA’s core purpose is to strengthen public libraries and their contribution to the communities they serve. Its mission is to enhance the development and effectiveness of public library staff and public library services.