For immediate release | March 22, 2022

PLA 2022 to generate an estimated $4.4 million in revenue for City of Portland

CHICAGO - The Public Library Association (PLA) national conference is the largest in-person association conference to return to Portland since the beginning of the pandemic. The event will bring more than 4,000 attendees to the Oregon Convention Center, 777 NE Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd., from March 23 – 25. Library professionals will attend more than 100 programs focused on shaping the future of U.S. public library service.

As Multnomah County residents know, investing in your public library is an investment in the future. Powered by a voter-approved $387 million bond, Multnomah County Library (MCL) is on track to build, rebuild or expand eight libraries that will strengthen the county's civic and social infrastructure.

The library community is investing in Portland. Event attendees are anticipated to pick up more than 8,760 total guestroom nights to visit local businesses, restaurants, and bars. According to Travel Portland, the event will provide a substantial economic boost to Portland businesses with an economic impact of an estimated $4.4 million in revenue.

"The positive economic and community impact of Portland hosting the Public Library Association is abundantly clear," said James Jessie, Chief Sales Officer of Travel Portland. "We are honored to have PLA delegates, planners, partners, and industry colleagues in Portland, known for its independent bookstores and literacy-related offerings. The City of Roses offers a welcoming and inclusive backdrop for the thousands of dedicated public library professionals engaging in a week of meaningful learning, discussions, networking, and exploration."

Conference sessions will focus on the changing role of libraries in a post-pandemic world. A keen focus will be placed on how libraries support small businesses and empower underrepresented entrepreneurs.

In addition to vast online resources for entrepreneurs, such as those offered through Multnomah County Library, libraries also provide specialized equipment, services, training, and networking. PLA is excited to host and share lessons from librarians from the Northwest region and across the country who reached and impacted 14,000 people with business development resources over the past 18 months.

For example, representatives from the Yakama Nation and Spokane Public Library in Washington will lead a session and share best practices with attendees. "We are lifting up our community and our indigenous practices through the lens of entrepreneurship training and upskilling, providing tools and resources for makers, artisans, and traditional life-ways," said Michael Sekaquaptewa of the Yakama Nation Library.

Attendees will learn from 13 Libraries Build Business libraries that serve diverse entrepreneurs, including individuals re-entering the workforce from jail or prison, primarily Spanish-speaking sidewalk vendors, rural entrepreneurs, tribal members, and minority-owned tech startups.

Offered biennially, the PLA Conference is the premier event for public libraries, drawing thousands of librarians, library support staff, trustees, friends, and library vendors worldwide. For more information on PLA 2022, please visit

About the PLA

The Public Library Association ( is the largest association to support public library professionals' unique and evolving needs. 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 worldwide. PLA offers professional development opportunities, unique public library initiatives, and a conference that welcomes public library staff into meaningful partnerships. In collaboration with its parent organization, the American Library Association, PLA strives to help its members shape the essential institution of public libraries by serving as an indispensable ally for public library leaders.

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PLA 2022


Larra Clark

Deputy Director

Public Library Association