About PLA

Image of PLA leaders including Felton Thomas (President 2016-2017), Dr. Rhea Brown Lawson (Director-at-Large 2015-2018), Vailey Oehlke (back to camera, President 2015-2016), Carolyn Anthony (President 2013-2014), and Larry Neal (partially obscured, President 2014-2015), celebrating at the PLA 2016 Conference in Denver, Colo.

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 offers continuing education opportunities, unique public library initiatives, and a conference that welcomes public library staff into meaningful partnership. In collaboration with its parent organization, the American Library Association, PLA strives to help its members shape the essential institution of public libraries by serving as an indispensable ally for public library workers.

Frequently Asked Questions

The Public Library Association’s governance and other key documents, including strategic plan, bylaws, and reports.

Mission and Strategy
The Public Library Association enhances the development and effectiveness of public library staff and public library services.


Our board and volunteers help the staff cultivate a community of talented public library professionals where anyone can contribute, and everyone can grow.

Related Sites
A list of other sites hosted by, maintained by, or otherwise related to PLA.

Opportunities to support PLA are available to individuals, organizations, and corporations.

Working with PLA
Resources, policies, and procedures to facilitate your involvement with PLA.