Guest Blogger

Getting Inspired Again at #PLA2022

It’s hard not to think about PLA 2020 in Nashville while getting ready for #PLA2022. It feels like an age ago for obvious reasons.

I attended PLA 2020, and saw the featured speaker offer realistic, yet optimistic words on getting people activated and energized around the country.

I first heard Bryan Stevenson speak at PLA in 2014 and the palpable buzz in that huge hall was, “wow, do us white folks have a lot of work to do!”

In the wake of the pandemic and the conservative backlash and book challenges, our neighboring library’s board implementing anti-library, pro-tax saving policies, increasing racism, police shootings of Black and Brown people, watching more of our communities fall into economic insecurity, and…and…and…, I’m weary—as maybe some of you are?

I was hoping PLA 2022 would be a place to find some inspiration here in Portland. And hearing Luvvie Ajayi Jones talk about being a courageous troublemaker was just what I needed! The buzz in this huge hall was ”we can work through our fear and make positive change happen!” Her book for teens, ALSC friends, is coming out in May! Check it out: Rising Trouble Maker: A Fear Fighter Manual for Teens.

It makes perfect sense to me that staying hopeful played a big part in all three of these highly inspirational PLA talks!

Please note that as a guest post, the views expressed here do not represent the official position of ALA or ALSC.

Guest conference blogger Shelley Sutherland (she/her) is the Youth Services Manager at the Skokie Public Library in Skokie, Illinois. She will be attending the conference live and is looking forward to learning from her colleagues. She loves her own baked goods as snacks and her favorite animal is an owl.

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