For immediate release | January 16, 2018

Sally Yates announced as opening session speaker at PLA 2018 Conference

CHICAGO -- Former U.S. Deputy Attorney General Sally Q. Yates will join the lineup of speakers at the PLA 2018 Conference, the Public Library Association announced today. She will headline the conference's Opening Session, taking place on Wednesday, Mar. 21.

Sally Yates served as Deputy Attorney General in the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) under President Barack Obama from January 2015 through January 2017, and then briefly as Acting Attorney General. As Deputy Attorney General, Yates was responsible for overseeing all facets of the DOJ’s work, including prosecutorial, litigating, and national security components and the Federal Bureau of Prisons. She also had oversight of the DOJ's four law enforcement agencies: the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), and Marshals Service. In addition to managing the day-to-day operation of the Department, during her tenure Yates spearheaded changes at the DOJ focused on reforming the criminal justice system. These changes included including prison reform; ensuring individual accountability or corporate wrongdoing; and utilizing prosecutorial resources in a focused manner to build safer communities.

Before becoming the Deputy Attorney General, Yates served as United States Attorney in Atlanta, Ga. During her time in Atlanta, she prosecuted a wide variety of white collar and public corruption matters and was the lead prosecutor in the case against Olympic bomber Eric Rudolph. Prior to her service in the U. S. Attorney’s office, she practiced commercial litigation at King & Spalding.

Offered biennially, the PLA Conference is the premier event for public libraries, drawing thousands of librarians, library support staff, trustees, friends and library vendors from across the country and around the world. The 2018 Conference will be held March 20-24 in the heart of downtown Philadelphia, Penn., with most events taking place at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. Actor/comedian Hasan Minhaj, best known as a correspondent on "The Daily Show," and Elizabeth Gilbert, author of the 2006 inspirational memoir "Eat Pray Love," will also speak at the event.

For complete details, visit the PLA Conference website. For more information about other PLA events and programs, contact the PLA office at or (800) 545-2433, ext. 5PLA, or visit

About PLA

The Public Library Association (PLA) is the largest association dedicated to supporting the unique and evolving needs of public library professionals. Founded in 1944, PLA serves nearly 9,000 members in public libraries large and small in communities across the United States and Canada, with a growing presence around the world. PLA strives to help its members shape the essential institution of public libraries by serving as an indispensable ally for public library leaders. For more information about PLA, contact the PLA office at 1 (800) 545-2433, ext.5PLA, or


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Laurence Deutsch

Manager, Communications

Public Library Association (PLA)