The Future of Libraries

Once a year in the fall, the PLP Staff Development Committee hosts The Future of Libraries, a one-day conference that highlight innovations taking place in libraries today.



Future of Libraries 2020: Focus on Equity, Anti-racism, and Work in the New Normal

Thank you for joining us for this event! Please access materials from the conference below.

October 7 & 8, 2020, 9:00 am – 1:00 pm PDT

Download Agenda and Program

Future of Libraries 2020 Conference is supported by California Libraries Learn (CALL), a joint project of the California State Library and the California Library Association. CALL is supported in whole or in part by the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act, administered in California by the State Librarian.
For more information about the Future of Libraries conference, contact 


The Future of Libraries 2020 conference is brought to you by the Pacific Library Partnership Staff Development Committee (PLPSDC).



Day 1, Programs and Speakers:
The 4 I's of Oppression

Oppression can show up in many ways. The purpose of this session is to provide a shared framework of what oppression is and how it appears in four common levels. This session will also include relevant examples, so we can use this as an ongoing tool to further Diversity Equity and Inclusion across the Pacific Library Partnership.

  • Celesté Martinez, Owner and Founder, Celestial Alegria, LLC
Diversity and Language

Our institutional language, when left unexamined and uninterrogated, becomes a tool of the status quo and undermines our efforts to even name the extent of our problems. This talk will discuss the role of language in the LIS field's decades-old stagnation with regard to equity and diversity, and will offer some ways to reframe our use of language as we continue to push for progress.

  • Stacy Collins, Research and Instruction Librarian, Simmons University
Video Performance: Black Parade by Coco Buttah

The drag scene adapted quickly to virtual environments, featuring amazing editing and a way to stay connected to audiences. With their performances we see beautiful representation and pieces surrounding identity, as well as just a good time! All rights belong to the artist! Find them at 

  • Coco Buttah
California CREI (Cultivating Race Equity and Inclusion) Initiative

The Cultivating Race Equity & Inclusion Initiative launched in 2019, funded by the California State Library with LSTA funds. Patty and Chantel will discuss various aspects of the work done in Year 1, and what’s to come.

  • Patty Wong, ALA President-Elect; City Librarian Santa Monica Public Library
  • Chantel Walker, Assistant Director of County Library Systems, Marin County Free Library
Denver Public Library Report

In 2019, Denver Public Library (DPL) received a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services to conduct a comprehensive research/assessment project using an equity framework to better understand effective strategies to reshape its workforce so it reflects the diversity of the community. Ultimately, the goal of Building a Pipeline of Community Connection project is to determine practical, effective models that libraries can implement to ensure that people from populations historically underrepresented in librarianship can join and grow in the field, with a supportive, inclusive institutional culture. This work is urgently needed, as the librarianship field has failed to equitably reflect the nation’s increasing diversity and promote a truly racially inclusive institutional culture. This session will feature a preliminary summary of findings with recommendations and immediately actionable steps that libraries can take to advance racial equity & inclusion in the workplace.

  • Ozy Aloziem, Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion Manager, Denver Public Library
EDI and Libraries Panel
  • Ozy Aloziem, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Manager, Denver Public Library
  • Stacy Collins, Research & Instruction Librarian, Simmons University
  • Alison Macrina, Founder & Director, Library Freedom Project
  • Chantel Walker, Assistant Director of County Library Systems, Marin County Free Library
Day 1 - Full Conference Video and Transcripts


Day 2, Programs and Speakers:
Library Values in the New Normal

In the era of a global pandemic, uprisings for Black lives, a growing funding crisis in libraries, and increasing threats to democracy and civil liberties, how can we defend the values of librarianship and adapt to the changing times? How do we live our professional values in "The New Normal" without resorting to normalization? Tess Wilson of the Library Freedom Project, will talk about the future of libraries in dark times and how we can stand up for our values of intellectual freedom, privacy, democracy, and social responsibility.

  • Tess Wilson, Library Freedom Project
Lightning Talk - Community Engagement in the New Normal: Book to Action & Literacy Programs

Libraries are known for adapting to their everchanging environments. Though current social distancing practices do not allow for in-person library programming, libraries have continued to find ways to serve the community in creative ways. OC Public Libraries’ Literacy program, OC READ, has employed various strategies to sustain community engagement in not only their literacy program, but also in their recently completed 2020 Book to Action program series.

  • Liz Romero, Orange County Public Library
Lightning Talk - Stories From Your Community: A Virtual Community Storytime from the Redwood City Public Library

From the early days of shelter-in-place, Redwood City Public Library's Youth Services team worked to maintain continuity with their families by providing a variety of virtual storytime programs. The team soon realized that rather than being restricted to the library building stories could be filmed at any time and in a variety of locations. This paved the way for Stories From Your Community, a weekly series that welcomes community partners to read stories and discuss their work all over the community--in train depots, fire stations, shipping ports, cultural centers, parks, and more.

  • Pam Evans, Redwood City Public Library
Advocacy in COVID Times with the E’s of Marketing

With work through United for Libraries, the group will discuss the reality-perception gap and advocating using the E’s of Libraries during the period of COVID.

  • Alan Fishel, Author of Proving Your Library’s Value: Persuasive, Organized, and Memorable Messaging; ALA United for Libraries Board Member, Counsel to ALA
  • Skip Dye, SVP, Library Sales and Digital Strategy, Penguin Random House, United for Libraries Board Member and 2018-2019 President
  • Paula Miller, Director, Baltimore County Library
Update from the REALM project: RE-opening Archives, Libraries, and Museums

The REopening Archives, Libraries, and Museums (REALM) project is drawing upon authoritative scientific research and Battelle laboratory testing to produce, widely disseminate, and periodically update evidence-based information that can inform operational considerations for reducing the risk of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) through libraries, archives, and museums (LAMs) to their staff and visitors. Join this session for an update on what is currently known and unknown about the virus, the results of REALM testing thus far, and how to incorporate the information into your local decision making.

  • Sharon Streams, Realm Project Director, OCLC
  • Carol Frost, CEO, Pacific Library Partnership; Executive Director, Peninsula Library System
Accessibility in Virtual Environments

This presentation will discuss accessibility concerns and best practices for connecting with patrons in a virtual environment. The presenters will specifically address social media, planning events, executing events, and post-event accessibility considerations.

  • Rachel Fager, Cataloging & Metadata Librarian, Saint Joseph’s University
  • Lauren Wittek, Assistant Professor and User Experience & Assessment Librarian, Central Washington University’s James E. Brooks Library
Lightning Talk - Look How Fast They Zoomed!

When two weeks sheltering in place turned to four, to six and longer, we quickly identified which of our programs could easily transition to a virtual live program. Just as quickly as we transitioned, our patrons jumped on board for the ride. Learn how experimenting with platforms and marketing strategies brought virtual programming into the homes of our patrons.

  • Stacy Lein, South San Francisco Library
Lightning Talk - LAPL Hollywood: Safer at Home!

Angi Brzycki shares some of the virtual programs she's had since LAPL closed to the public.

  • Angi Brzycki, Los Angeles Public Library
Day 2 - Full Conference Video and Transcripts