Maine Library Association

MLA Annual Conference 2024

The Maine Library Association annual conference will be held at the Sunday River resort at the Grand Summit Hotel in Newry, ME

Monday, May 20, and Tuesday, May 21

This year's conference theme is Libraries: Beacons of Democracy


Let’s Talk About It! Empowering Librarians for Controversial Public Sessions and One-to-One Conversations. Facilitated by Craig Freshley. CLICK HERE to view full details and register for this event.

Monday's Keynote Speaker: Colin Woodard

Colin Woodard is the director of Nationhood Lab at the Pell Center for International Relations and Public Policy at Salve Regina University and the New York Times bestselling author of six books, including "American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America", "Union: The Struggle to Forge the Story of United States Nationhood" and "The Lobster Coast: Rebels, Rusticators and the Struggle for a Forgotten Frontier". A veteran foreign correspondent and investigative journalist, he received a 2012 George Polk Award and was a finalist for the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting for his reporting at the Portland Press Herald. His bestselling history of Blackbeard’s pirate gang - "The Republic of Pirates"- was made into a primetime NBC series with John Malkovich and Claire Foye and inspired Ubisoft’s "Assassins Creed IV: Black Flags", for which he was a consultant. His work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Smithsonian, The Economist, Politico, and many other publications. A graduate of Strong Elementary, Mt. Abram Regional High School, Tufts University, and the University of Chicago, he was a Pew Fellow in International Journalism at the Johns Hopkins University School for Advanced International Study and is currently a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society in London. He lives in Freeport, where he is an avid user of Maine's statewide interlibrary loan service.

Tuesday's Keynote Speaker: Julia Bouwsma

Julia Bouwsma lives off-the-grid in the mountains of western Maine where she works as a poet, homesteader, editor, teacher, and small-town librarian. She is Maine’s sixth Poet Laureate, currently serving a term from 2021 to 2026, and is the author three poetry collections: the forthcoming Death Fluorescence (Sundress Publications, 2025), Midden (Fordham University Press, 2018), and Work by Bloodlight (Cider Press Review, 2017). Among other honors, she is a two-time recipient of the Maine Literary Award for Poetry Book. Bouwsma is a former Managing Editor for Alice James Books, has taught in the Creative Writing department at the University of Maine at Farmington, serves on the Community Advisory Board for the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance, and works as the Library Director for Webster Library in Kingfield, ME.

Conference Schedule

This PDF is the schedule as of 3/29/24. We will upload updated versions as things evolve! 


Early bird registration opens on March 4th and ends after April 12th. Click here to register as an attendee or presenter. Presenters will be sent a code to access discounted registration ticket types, so if you are a confirmed presenter, please wait to receive a code, before registering. 


Confirmed presenters will be sent a code to access the presenter rates for registration. If you are a confirmed presenter and have not received a code, contact Sonya Durney at

MASL members will be able to register at the regular MLA member rate after early bird registration ends after April 8th.


If you have questions about accessibility accommodations, please email


If you need to cancel your registration, you can cancel for a full refund through April 25th. No refunds will be given after that time. If you need to cancel, please email Michelle Scheier, our Association Administrator at


To book a room at the Grand Summit Hotel, use this link for the group rate. The discounted rate is good from Saturday night through Tuesday night, in case you want to extend you stay a bit to enjoy the scenery, trails, and the heated pool!

Vendor Information

The vendor contact on our conference committee is Meg Gray

Vendor/exhibitor registration is now open:


Up to ten grants to attend the conference are available to those in financial need. The deadline to apply for grants to attend the 2024 conference March 31, 2024. Please visit our grants page for application information.

The application deadline for the Phyllis E. Ainsworth Scholarship is April 13, 2024. Please visit our scholarship page for more information.

Please consider making a donation to MLA’s scholarship fund. 100% of your donation makes a direct positive impact on the Maine library profession through scholarships and conference grants. We’re all looking forward to the return of the fabulous fundraising Basket Raffle when we’re all together again! CLICK HERE TO DONATE


Award winners for the Outstanding Librarian of the Year, Library Advocate of the Year, and the Jim Campbell Intellectual Freedom Award will be announced at the conference during lunch on Monday, May 21.

Conference Code of Conduct

Click here to read our Statement of Appropriate Conduct for our conferences and events. 

Past Conferences

Programming and other materials from our past MLA conferences.

Maine Library Association

55 N. Main Street, Unit 49

Belchertown, MA 01007


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