PLA announces keynote speakers for 2022 conference, March 23-25

For Immediate Release
Tue, 01/11/2022


Larra Clark

Deputy Director

Public Library Association

American Library Association

CHICAGO — The Public Library Association (PLA) 2022 Conference will open and close with laughter and a challenge to engage the current moment with opening speaker Luvvie Ajayi Jones and closing speaker Kal Penn. The PLA 2022 Conference, taking place March 23–25, in Portland, Oregon, will feature dynamic speakers and programming that reflects the innovation, creativity, diversity and adaptability of our nation’s public libraries.

New York Times best-selling author, podcast host and professional troublemaker Ajayi Jones will kick off the conference by challenging attendees to overcome their fears and get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Ajayi Jones thrives at the intersection of comedy, media and justice. Her debut book, "I'm Judging You: The Do-Better Manual," hit the New York Times best-sellers list at #5 in its first week. Her latest book, "Professional Troublemaker: The Fear-Fighter Manual," was released Mar. 2, 2021, and also was an instant hit. Ajayi Jones is known for her trademark wit, warmth and perpetual truth-telling. She has graced stages around the globe for some of the world's most innovative companies and conferences, and her wildly popular TED talk "Get comfortable with being uncomfortable" has over 5 million views.

From White Castle to the White House, closing speaker Kal Penn will leave conference attendees charmed with his entertaining and candid stories of Hollywood, politics and redefining the American Dream. Penn is an actor, writer, producer and former associate director of the White House Office of Public Engagement. He is known for his starring roles in "Designated Survivor," "House," Mira Nair’s "The Namesake," the Harold & Kumar franchise and the patriotic immigration sit-com "Sunnyside," which he co-created for NBC. Penn’s first book, "You Can’t Be Serious," was released on Nov. 2, 2021, from Simon and Schuster/Gallery Books.

Conference attendees also will be inspired by diverse educational sessions, the opportunity to reconnect and revitalize with colleagues, the latest in library technology and solutions from 100+ vendors, and options to explore the weirdness of Portland.

Personal members of PLA, the Oregon Library Association (OLA) and the Pacific Northwest Library Association (PNLA) receive exclusive access to the Early Bird Discount—saving $280 more than nonmembers on registration. Advance registration is available to all others through Feb. 18, and full registration details are available online.

About PLA
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 10,000 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