PLA expands its 2024 Conference Scholarship opportunities

For Immediate Release
Thu, 10/19/2023


Eliana Tang Kleiman

Communications Associate

Public Library Association

CHICAGO — The Public Library Association (PLA) will award 50 conference scholarships for public library workers and students to attend the PLA 2024 Conference, taking place April 3-5 in Columbus, Ohio. As part of PLA’s commitment to equity, diversity, and social justice in the library profession, PLA has increased the number of conference scholarship opportunities offered and the number of qualifying categories for applicants. PLA has also expanded opportunities for both in-person and virtual participants.

Scholarships will cover conference registration fees and provide one year of PLA membership. Individuals who receive scholarships to attend the conference in-person will also receive a $750 stipend to help cover travel costs.

Scholarships are available to support applicants who belong to at least one of the following categories:

  • Early career (i.e., fewer than five years) or un/under-employed (annual salary less than $45,000)
  • Students pursuing a master’s degree in library and/or information science (i.e., MLS, MLIS, MIS)
  • Working in small or rural libraries (i.e., serving communities with fewer than 25,000 people)
  • Current or past Spectrum Scholars working in public libraries
  • ALA ethnic affiliate members (i.e., members of the Joint Council of Librarians of Color)

"The expansion of PLA’s 2024 conference scholarship opportunities will create more inclusive pathways to the vast possibilities that a library career can offer,” said PLA President Sonia Alcántara-Antoine. “Dynamic public libraries are the heart of every community. These expanded opportunities ensure that even more public library workers can access the professional growth and connections at PLA conference that are central to supporting healthy and thriving communities."

The PLA 2024 Conference offers more than 100 thoughtfully curated education sessions, inspiring speakers and authors, engaging networking opportunities, career services, micro-learning moments, and a bustling exhibits hall featuring the latest in products, services, and innovations.

Because PLA membership always includes membership in the American Library Association (ALA), all scholarship recipients also receive free subscriptions to American Libraries and Public Libraries magazines, discounts on ALA and PLA continuing education, access to ALA’s online networking hub ALA Connect, discounts in the ALA Store, and more. The total value of the conference scholarship exceeds a $1,000 investment in an individual’s professional development. 

Applications are due Nov. 12, 2023, by 11:59 PM Central. Applications are reviewed and scored by PLA volunteers and staff. Complete selection criteria and the scholarship application may be found here.

PLA gratefully recognizes the corporate and individual donors that make it possible to award scholarships to public library workers to attend the PLA Conference. Library supporters are invited 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