PLA launches PLAspace Web site for Communities of Practice

Contact: Louisa Worthington

Public Library Association


For Immediate Release

September 16, 2008, the Web site developed by the Public Library Association (PLA) to house Communities of Practice (CoPs), officially launched this week and is available to librarians, library staff members and other supporters who want to take part in ongoing, focused discussions surrounding library issues.

PLAspace incorporates many common social networking and interactive components, including discussion forums; chat rooms; event calendars; custom tools that will allow CoP members to coordinate project management; and file storage and archives. PLAspace will be updated with new functions as needed.

PLA began development on in July 2008 after membership overwhelmingly voted to disband the more traditional committees in favor of CoPs, which are more accessible to those who are unable to travel to in-person meetings and allow members to create and sustain groups dedicated to specific library topics in an online environment. As new topics and issues emerge in the library community, members are encouraged to form groups for investigation, discussion and management of projects.

Currently, is home to several active CoPs, including those tackling subjects such as branch libraries, cataloging, readers advisory, rural libraries and technology. Visit to join an existing conversation or to start a new one.

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, and its mission is to enhance the development and effectiveness of public library staff and public library services. For more information, visit