John Wood to keynote PLA Conference Opening Session

Contact: Louisa Worthington

Public Library Association


For Immediate Release

July 24, 2007

John Wood to keynote PLA Conference Opening Session

CHICAGO - The Public Library Association (PLA) is pleased to announce that John Wood, founder and CEO of Room to Read, will present the keynote address at the Opening General Session at PLA 2008, the PLA 12th National Conference, on Wednesday, March 26, 2008 in Minneapolis.

At the age of 35, John Wood left an executive career track at Microsoft Corporation to form Room to Read, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping over one million children across the developing world break the cycle of poverty through the power of education. Since its start in 2000, Room to Read has sponsored the opening of more than 280 schools and 3,600 multi-lingual libraries across the developing world. The organization has distributed over 2.8 million children's books and supports more than 2,300 girls with long-term scholarships. Room to Read plans to increase this literacy network to 20,000 libraries and schools serving at least 10 million children.

Wood illustrates his experience with Room to Read in a recent memoir, "Leaving Microsoft to Change the World" (HarperCollins 2006), a book described by Publishers' Weekly as "an infectiously inspiring read." Translated in to 10 languages, it is popular with entrepreneurs, philanthropists, educators and internationalists alike.

Offered biennially, the PLA National Conference has a reputation for excellence. The conference includes more than 100 top-quality continuing education programs, talk tables, several social events and networking opportunities and a bustling exhibits hall. PLA 2008, the PLA 12th National Conference, will be held from March 25 to 29, 2008, at the Minneapolis Convention Center.

For more information about PLA 2008, visit the National Conference Web site, For more information about other PLA events and programs, contact the PLA office at 800-545-2433, ext. 5PLA, or visit PLA's Web site at

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.