PLA announces new opening speaker for 2024 conference: Shola Richards

For Immediate Release
Fri, 03/29/2024


Eliana Tang Kleiman

Communications Associate

Public Library Association

CHICAGO — The Public Library Association (PLA) is pleased to announce Shola Richards, founder and CEO of “Go Together” and best-selling author, will open the PLA 2024 Conference, taking place April 3–5, 2024, in Columbus, Ohio. Richards replaces Dr. Joy Buolamwini, who will no longer be able to keynote due to unforeseen circumstances.

Richards is a dynamic keynote speaker, the best-selling author of "Making Work Work” and "Go Together," an in-demand workplace civility expert, and a prolific writer with a passionate worldwide following. His articles and popular Monday morning "Go Together Movement" email series have impacted people in over 160 countries, and his work has been featured on the Today Show, CBS This Morning, Forbes, Black Enterprise, and more.

He is leading a worldwide movement to change the world based on how we treat each other at work. As a speaker, Richards has shared his powerful message with top universities, leading healthcare organizations, Silicon Valley, the motion picture industry, and on the TEDx stage. In 2021, he testified in the House of Representatives on Capitol Hill to share his expert recommendations on how to bring more civility to Congress.

Richards also is a father, husband, identical twin, and self-professed "kindness extremist" who will not rest until bullying and incivility are extinct from the American workplace.

The opening session, which is exclusively sponsored by OCLC, will take place on Wednesday, April 3, 2024, 8:30-10 a.m. Eastern, at the Greater Columbus Convention Center, Hall A. Richards joins an incredible roster of inspiring speakers that includes Ta-Nehisi Coates, Dulcé Sloan, and Mary Annaïse Heglar.

In addition to keynote speakers, the conference will feature more than 100 thoughtfully curated education sessions, author and publisher events, engaging networking opportunities, career services, micro-learning moments, and a bustling exhibits hall featuring the latest in products, services, and innovations. More than 6,500 library professionals will explore and share innovative and responsive solutions that address the evolving needs of community residents.

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