For immediate release | January 25, 2024

PLA announces 2024 conference scholarship winners

CHICAGO — The Public Library Association (PLA) is awarding 115 scholarships for public library professionals and students to attend the PLA 2024 Conference, taking place April 3-5 in Columbus, Ohio. Of this total number, 97 scholarships will support in-person conference attendance, with another 18 scholarships awarded for virtual conference participants.

As part of PLA’s commitment to equity, diversity, inclusion, and social justice in the library profession and professional growth for library workers, PLA significantly increased the number of conference scholarship opportunities this year and expanded the qualifying categories for applicants. Scholarship recipients include early career and un/under-employed library workers, students pursuing a master’s degree in library and/or information science, small and rural library workers, current and past Spectrum Scholars working in public libraries, and National Associations of Librarians of Color (NALCo) members.

Each scholarship includes complimentary conference registration, one year of ALA and PLA membership, and a $750 stipend for travel and housing for in-person attendees. The full list of scholarship recipients may be found here.

PLA President Sonia Alcántara-Antoine remarked, “I got to go to my first national library conference when I received the ALA Spectrum Scholarship. That experience changed my life and opened so many doors for me, professionally and personally. I know how vital such professional development opportunities are to library workers and students who wouldn’t normally have access to them.”

“From supporting the Stonewall generation to crafting tangibles like an EDI toolkit, each session in PLA aligns directly with a specific directive in my job description or upcoming professional project,” remarked scholarship awardee Jordan Ostrum, a LGBTQIA+ services specialist at Dayton Metro (Ohio) Library. “Truly, I would struggle to craft my own itinerary for a conference that more closely aligns with my current and immediate professional goals and needs than does PLA 2024”.

Awardee Marcus Oritz is an MLIS student at San Jose State University and library associate at Arlington (Va.) Public Library. He stated that “My long-term goal is to support Indigenous students and queer folx going through an MLIS program by developing LIS curriculum that centers these communities.... Being selected as a PLA Scholarship recipient not only means supporting my journey to uplift these communities but also expanding the profession to guide additional queer BIPOC folx into the profession as well."

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. For complete details, visit the PLA Conference website. Advance registration closes Feb. 23, 2024.

PLA gratefully recognizes the corporate and individual donors that make it possible to award scholarships to public library workers to attend the PLA Conference. We invite you to invest in the future leaders of the profession by donating to the Friends of PLA Fund.

About the Public Library Association

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

About the American Library Association

The American Library Association (ALA) is the foremost national organization providing resources to inspire library and information professionals to transform their communities through essential programs and services. For more than 140 years, the ALA has been the trusted voice for academic, public, school, government and special libraries, advocating for the profession and the library’s role in enhancing learning and ensuring access to information for all. For more information, visit


Eliana Tang Kleiman

Communications Associate

Public Library Association