Your Stories

How has PLA played a role in your life? What PLA educational programs have taught you something new to bring back to your library? How has attending PLA conference inspired you? Have a throwback photo at a PLA event that you want to share with the world?

It’s time to tell your PLA story! Just in time for our 75th Anniversary, let the world know how PLA has made a difference in your professional life and supported your work in public libraries. See examples from other PLA members, below.



Douglas Crane

Palm Beach County Library System, Library Director

PLA Member for 5 years

As a Library Director, PLA is invaluable to connect with my peers across the Country. It gives me an opportunity to learn about exciting activities and trends and to share ideas with colleagues. I took the leap these past few years to stop being a bystander and instead to serve on committees. This work has been very rewarding and I feel it is an important way to give back to my profession. Happy birthday to PLA!

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Sara Dallas

Southern Adirondack Library System, Director

PLA Member for 25 plus years

I owe my career to PLA. When I was an outreach consultant in a public library system in upstate New York, I applied to the Train-the-Trainer program using the PLA Results Series books. In 2001, approximately one month after 9/11 in Coronado, California, I met Sandra Nelson and June Garcia. They have become friends and mentors and helped me as I moved up the administrative ladder, and the colleagues I met through the program became life-long friends.

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Joy Kim

Deputy Director of Libraries, Cambridge Public Library, Cambridge, MA

PLA Member for 12 years

There are so many important conversations happening right now in public libraries around sustainability, equity, and social justice. My hope is that in 75 years, we’ll have made so much progress on those fronts that it will be hard to understand why we ever had to do some of the things we do now. Let’s imagine a future where we have sustainable national funding, a workforce that truly reflects the public we serve, and a community understanding of the value that public libraries offer.

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Isaiah West

Isaiah West

Teen Services Coordinator, Alexandria Library, Alexandria, VA

PLA Member for 3 years

I had watched PLA from afar for a couple of years, but when the Inclusive Internship Initiative program was introduced to me, I jumped at the opportunity. Being able to hire two teens that first summer really helped revitalize the teen programs at our library. PLA has made me realize the ways that I can be involved in my community as a librarian, advocate, and life-long learner.

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Kimberly Knight

Assistant Director, Chesapeake Public Library, Chesapeake, VA

PLA Member for 4 Years

Attending the PLA Leadership Academy in 2017 was an unforgettable, transformational experience. It was nearly a week of unique learning opportunities, self-discovery, and networking. Within 12 months of completing the Academy, I received two career promotional opportunities!

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Monica Dombrowski

Library Director, Sycamore Public Library, Sycamore, IL

PLA Member for 4 years

I’m excited that PLA is looking across all their tools and resources to see how they can raise awareness of their offerings and provide easy access for members. The other thing I think PLA does well is leveraging the talents of their members to create a community that is trying to address issues happening in public libraries. We get a chance to build our networks, learn from each other, and solve problems together, all of which give us transferable skills to take back and apply in our libraries.

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