Public Libraries Advisory Committee


To review and recommend editorial policies for Public Libraries and to provide oversight for the implementation of those policies. To provide overall advise on the direction and development of the journal. To serve as channel for member communication regarding the scope and coverage of Public Libraries.

Please note: Effective July 2024, the Public Libraries Advisory Committee will transition from a committee to an advisory group. The PLA Board approved this change in Fall 2023 to ensure standing committees remain aligned with the current PLA Strategic Plan, while advisory groups continue to support work that is critical to serving the public library field.

Deliverables and outcomes:

  • Create a yearly editorial calendar for Public Libraries magazine
  • Identify trends and recommend potential story ideas
  • Review the volume year and recommend tweaks and/or changes
  • Monitor Public Libraries Online and recommend tweaks and/or changes
  • Advise on content and design where needed
  • Consider policy questions and make decisions
  • Review finances, advertising, and subscriptions
  • Choose annual Feature Article award winner
  • Increase volunteers and diversity of voices by identifying potential authors

Expected time commitment:

  • Attend ALA Midwinter Meeting and ALA Annual Conference (8 hours/year plus travel time)
  • Attend virtual meetings (6–10 hours/year)
  • Review and respond to emails and ALA Connect messages (2–3 hours/year)

Desired skills, knowledge, or experience:

  • Strong strategic and creative thinking, and collaboration skills
  • Solid knowledge of public librarianship and an awareness of trends and hot topics in the field
  • Familiarity with managing editorial projects
  • Familiarity with Public Libraries magazine, Public Libraries Online, and other products in the Public Libraries family


Amy J. Dissmeyer
(Chair, July 1, 2023, to June 30, 2024)
Dr. Kathleen Campana
(Member, July 1, 2023, to June 30, 2025)
Jennifer G. Garner, MLIS
(Member, July 1, 2023, to June 30, 2025)
Robin Imperial
(Member, July 1, 2022, to June 30, 2024)
Mrs. Amber Kent
(Member, July 1, 2023, to June 30, 2025)
Ms. Kayla Jean Kuni
(Member, July 1, 2023, to June 30, 2025)
Ms. Lorena McDowell
(Member, July 1, 2023, to June 30, 2025)
David S.P. Payne
(Member, July 1, 2023, to June 30, 2025)
Ms. Robin P. Sofge
(Member, July 1, 2022, to June 30, 2024)
Ms. Jennifer Styran
(Member, July 1, 2022, to June 30, 2024)
Mr. Eric D. Suess
(Member, July 1, 2023, to June 30, 2025)
Emily Tobin
(Member, July 1, 2023, to June 30, 2025)
Kathleen M. Hughes
(Staff Liaison, July 1, 2018, to June 30, 2024)

Displaying active committee roster as of 05/22/2024. Last retrieved on 05/22/2024. Refresh now.


The PLA Public Libraries Advisory Committee consists of members appointed from the membership at large, serving 2 year terms and led by a chair.


All PLA Committees are formed by action of the PLA Board of Directors, which is elected by PLA Members. In 2008, PLA's committees were restructured by a vote of the membership.

Staff Liaison

Kathleen Hughes

Editor, Public Libraries and Manager, Publications


Get Involved

To be a thriving, vibrant organization, PLA must have committed and active committee members. If you are interested in serving on a committee, please read and fill out the online volunteer form.

  • Volunteers are accepted on an ongoing basis.
  • Appointments are made by the PLA President and President-Elect, primarily in the spring.
  • Volunteers must be members of ALA and PLA.

Stay up to date on all things Public Libraries at; or email Kathleen Hughes,, with questions. To find past issues of Public Libraries magazine, visit the PLA Member Library. PLA personal membership is required to access.