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Join IMLS during the 2024 PLA Conference in Columbus, OH April 2-5, 2024.

View the list of sessions pertaining to IMLS and IMLS-funded grants below, and visit booth #1322 each day for additional information and giveaways.

The conference and exhibits will be located at the Greater Columbus Convention Center, 400 N. High St., Columbus, OH 43215. Registration details can be found on the 2024 PLA Annual Conference website.

Our Office of Library Services staff members will be available in booth #1322 to discuss IMLS grant programs and initiatives.


Location: IMLS Booth (#1322)
IMLS 1:1 Consultations during the PLA Conference provides personalized guidance and support to potential grant applicants. During these consultations, individuals can receive tailored advice on their grant proposals, clarification on application guidelines, feedback on project ideas, and assistance in navigating the grantmaking process.

Schedule a Consultation

Come stop by our booth to learn more about...

Wednesday 4/3 3pm – 4:30pm ET Grants to States Program

The Grants to States program is the largest source of federal funding support for library services in the United States. Stop by and speak to one of our program officers today!

Wednesday 4/3 4:30pm – 6pm ET Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program & National Leadership Grants

The Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program supports developing a diverse workforce of librarians to better meet the changing learning and information needs of the American public. National Leadership Grants for Libraries support projects that enhance the quality of library and archive services nationwide by advancing theory and practice. Stop by and speak to one of our program officers today!

Thursday 4/4 9am – 10am and 3pm – 4pm ET Visions of America: speak to Cyndee Landrum, IMLS Acting Director, and PBS Books

Cyndee Landrum
Cyndee Landrum, IMLS Acting Director.

Gearing up for America250, the nationwide commemoration of America’s 250th anniversary in 2026, IMLS has launched IMLS250: All Stories, All People, All Places. To get started, IMLS partnered with PBS Books to showcase “Visions of America: All Stories, All People, All Places,” a digital-first series of videos and virtual conversations. IMLS collaborated on this digital-only series with PBS Books and Detroit Public Television, who served as a media partner of the new series.

Through “Visions of America,” IMLS has been engaging the nation’s libraries, museums, and archives—the caretakers of our history and culture—as we approach the 250th anniversary of America’s founding. IMLS is committed to honoring the value of all stories about our nation’s development over the past 250 years, focusing on local histories and how their actions shaped the country and our collective heritage while respecting regional and cultural differences and amplifying diverse voices.

Friday 4/5 9am – 10am ET National Leadership, Native American & Native Hawaiian Grant Programs

Anthony Smith
Anthony Smith, Acting Deputy Director of the Office of Library Services.

Stop by today to speak to Acting Deputy Director of the Office of Library Services, Anthony Smith, and other IMLS program officers to discuss IMLS grant programs such as the National Leadership Grants for Libraries Program, Native America Library Services Basic and Enhancement grants and Native Hawaiian Library Services grants.

Friday 4/5 12pm – 2pm ET Explore the New SLAA Survey Comparison Tool

Meet Marissa Pelczar, PhD, IMLS Program Analyst with the Office of Research and Evaluation and learn more about the new SLAA Survey Comparison Tool. The SLAA Survey Comparison Tool is an online dashboard that allows users to select and compare data from up to 3 states collected from the biennial SLAA Survey in a visually accessible and user-friendly fashion.


Friday 4/5 11:30am – 11:50am ET How to Use IMLS' Public Library Search and Compare Tool

Location: Greater Columbus Convention Center, TBA
This web-based tool provides an easy way to query, browse, view, and download data on individual libraries from the IMLS' Public Libraries Survey. I'll show you how to (1) search for peer libraries by state, locale, legal basis, population size served, staff, services, and finances; (2) explore 10-year trends for key metrics both in totals and per person estimates; and (3) produce infographic PDFs displaying individual library data or presenting data from two libraries side-by-side.

Marisa Pelczar
Program Analyst
Institute of Museum and Library Services


Wednesday 4/3 10:15am – 11:15am ET Your State Library: A Resource for All!

Location: Greater Columbus Convention Center, B130-132
State libraries provide many areas of support to public libraries, including: training for staff, directors, and trustees; consulting on library services, management, policies, and facilities; circulating items like STEM kits or park passes; assistance in reaching underserved groups; grants for programs; document digitization; database consortiums and resource sharing; library services to the blind; services to prison and institutional libraries; summer reading grants and software; advising on strategic plans; and more. Find out how to connect with this resource from a panel of state library's.

Primary Topics:

  • Community Engagement and Partnerships

Tami Masenhimer
Training Coordinator and Consultant
Washington State Library

Tiffany Hayes
Education Design and Development Manager
South Carolina State Library

Erin Kelsey
Library Consultant
State Library of Ohio

Thursday 4/4 10:15am – 11:15am ET A Year of Hands-on Program Observations and Outcomes with Our IMLS Digital Toolkit

Location: Greater Columbus Convention Center, Union Station B
In 2021, with the support of IMLS, the team from Madison, Skokie, and Waupaca Public Libraries set out to research and design a digital tool for documenting, assessing, and sharing about traditionally squishy library outcomes like creative expression, problem solving, and building connections in hands-on, experiential library programs. Now, after a year in use, they are excited for you to get your hands on this new digital tool (beta version) and share what they have observed about their program outcomes and about the tools usage and evolving design.

Primary Topics:

  • Fundraising and Communications

Rebecca Millerjohn
Youth Services Librarian
Madison Public Library

Kailea Saplan
PHD Candidate
University of Wisconsin, Madison

Thursday 4/4 11:30am – 12:30pm ET Super Searchers: Tackling Misinformation with Information Literacy

Location: Virtual, Attendee Hub
Super Searchers, originally developed for librarians, is a training program that uses quizzes and hands-on demonstrations to help people use Google’s information and search literacy tools – such as About this Result and Reverse Image Search – to more efficiently analyze information online. The workshop will explain how library-based programming can teach patrons how to use publicly available tools to increase their information literacy skills, using the SIFT method. Panelists will include [PLA SPEAKER], Mike Caulfield of the UW (and developer of the SIFT method) and Nidhi Hebbar from Google.

Primary Topic:

  • Community Engagement and Partnerships

Mike Caulfield
Research Scientist
University of Washington

Toby Greenwalt

Nidhi Hebbar
Product Manager

Kim Loan Chu

Friday 4/5 10:15am – 11:15pm ET Possibilities and Potholes: Lessons Learned from an EDI IMLS Grant

Location: Greater Columbus Convention Center, TBA
In 2022, Denver Public Library (DPL) was awarded an IMLS grant to focus on building an inclusive organizational culture in libraries. The organization faced a significant shakeup and challenges in executing the grant when an EDI Administrator left the organization. DPL had to face where they were and recognize it wasn’t where they had hoped to be. This panel will address what DPL staff have learned, how they shifted the grant to meet their reality, and how to grow even when the road gets rough!

Primary Topics:

  • Staff Management, Recruitment, and Retention

Beckett Czarnecki
Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Policy & Advocacy Manager
Denver Public Library

Michelle Jeske
City Librarian and Executive Director
Denver Public Library

Friday 4/5 10:15am – 11:15am ET Transforming Libraries into Community-Health Hubs for Families During Early Childhood

Location: Virtual, Attendee Hub
Families from underserved communities often lack access to current, credible information on supporting health for young children. Transforming your library into a community health-information hub on the health and development of young children can help fill this gap for families. Come learn about the findings from IMLS-funded Project SHIELD and interact with your peers around how libraries can provide access to information, connections, and learning experiences related to all aspects of health for young children.

Primary Topic:

  • Serving Youth

Kathleen Campana
Associate Professor
Kent State University

Friday 4/5 11:30am – 12:30pm ET Reaching Underserved Families with TALK: Text and Learn for Kindergarten

Location: Greater Columbus Convention Center, TBA
Connect with partners and reach non-library users while making an impact and becoming an early literacy leader in your community! Learn how the Ypsilanti District Library worked with community partners to successfully develop, promote, and expand an early literacy text messaging service, which targets underserved families. TALK: Text and Learn for Kindergarten, created with LSTA and IMLS National Leadership funding, connects families to their local library and helps caregivers prepare kids for school success.

Primary Topics:

  • Serving Youth

Jodi Krahnke
Head of Youth Services
Ypsilanti District Library

Lisa Hoenig
Ypsilanti District Library

Cathy Lancaster
Youth Services Coordinator
Library of Michigan

Friday 4/5 11:30am – 12:30pm ET Reading for Accessibility and Inclusion

Location: Greater Columbus Convention Center, TBA
The Ferguson Library and partner, Benetech, have developed a training module for improving library services to people with print disabilities. This resource provides library staff with reliable information about barriers to reading traditional print materials and the tools to overcome them. A benchmarking survey of the library landscape, results of the testing phase, and how to find and use the training module will be presented. This project is an IMLS Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian grant-funded project.

Primary Topic:

  • Technology

Susan LaPerla
Director of Public Services
The Ferguson Library

Lara Rondberg
Program Manager

Friday 4/5 3:30pm – 4:30pm ET Engaging Beyond Our Walls: Making Neighborhood Games and Outdoor Storytelling

Location: Greater Columbus Convention Center, TBA
Can your library empower residents to design their own outdoor games and bring history to life? You’ve probably made an outdoor storywalk—now try something more interactive! With IMLS support, the DC Public Library brought this free and low-tech project to 25 towns. First, attendees will try some of the successful models, such as "text with a sculpture" and the scavenger hunt with historic images. Then in small groups, participants will craft a plan to engage "beyond our walls."

Primary Topics:

  • Community Engagement and Partnerships

Benjamin Stokes
Playful City Lab at American University

David Quick
Adult Services Coordinator
DC Public Library



Event Location
Greater Columbus Convention Center
400 N. High Street
Columbus, OH
Date Time