Family Engagement Task Force

Charge and Work

To explore partnerships and consider resources to be developed to help public libraries learn about and implement successful family engagement practices. The Task Force will report to the PLA Board of Directors at least twice per year. After two years, the Board will review the work of the Task Force and will recommend its continuation, whether it should be sunset, or whether a standing committee should be created.

Deliverables and outcomes:

  • Promote and continue to expand on PLA’s family engagement framework and program models as published in the 2016 Ideabook: Libraries for Families
  • Provide tools to public libraries to promote their family engagement vision and services to educators, families, and government leaders such as the Libraries Transform Family Engagement Toolkit
  • Create an assessment process for public libraries to evaluate family engagement at the public library strategy, funding, partnerships and programming levels and develop action plans
  • Educate the public library field about family engagement via ALA conference presentations and development of a library in-service toolkit and potential speakers bureau
  • Identify and/or develop model programming for public libraries for families with children of all ages
  • Connect with professionals in the government, education, early childhood, social service and other sectors about the potential of public libraries
  • Positively impact the number of U.S. libraries that incorporate family engagement into their strategic vision, leverage partnerships and funding at the community level to support family engagement, and improve youth and adult programs to better promote parental involvement in children’s education

Expected time commitment:

  • Attend ALA Midwinter Meeting and ALA Annual Conference (4 hours/year plus travel time)
  • Attend virtual meetings scheduled every 1–2 months (6–10 hours/year)
  • Participate on project subcommittees as assigned (variable)
  • Review and respond to emails and ALA Connect messages (2–3 hours/year)
  • Provide subject matter expertise on priority projects (12 hours/year)
  • (Optional) Attend national meetings of education/early childhood/family-serving professionals to present about partnering with public libraries for family success (variable)

Desired skills, knowledge, or experience:

  • Familiarity with the family engagement movement in the early childhood and education sectors and knowledge of how caregiver involvement in children’s education leads to better educational and economic success
  • Ability to advise PLA about public library family engagement strategies, from the library director, children’s or youth services, and/or adult services perspectives (expertise at all levels is needed)
  • Skills in writing and program development in order to help take the Task Force’s vision from idea to product stage


Clara Nalli Bohrer (Co-Chair, July 1, 2017, to July 31, 2019)
Kathleen S. Reif (Co-Chair, July 1, 2017, to July 31, 2019)
Ms. Amanda McNatt Courie (Member, July 1, 2017, to July 31, 2019)
Mrs. Amber Lea Creger (Member, July 1, 2017, to July 31, 2019)
Jo Giudice (Member, July 1, 2017, to July 31, 2019)
Claudia Haines (Member, July 1, 2017, to July 31, 2019)
Michelle M. Jeske (Member, July 1, 2017, to July 31, 2019)
Ms. Judy T. Nelson (Member, July 1, 2017, to July 31, 2019)
Ms. Maren C. Ostergard (Member, July 1, 2017, to July 31, 2019)
Julie F. Roach (Member, July 1, 2017, to July 31, 2019)
Mr. Felton Thomas, JR. (Member, July 1, 2017, to July 31, 2019)
Scott Gregory Allen (Staff Liaison, February 16, 2017, to February 16, 2099)
Symone Villasenor (Staff Liaison, April 15, 2019, to June 30, 2021)

Displaying active committee roster as of 07/15/2019. Last retrieved on 07/15/2019. Members can log in to view full contact information for committee members.


Appointed by the President, 1 chair and up to 10 members. The project is scheduled for a 2 year term.


Created by the Board of Directors at its May 2015 meeting.

Get Involved

To be a thriving, vibrant organization, PLA must have committed and active committee members. If you are interested in serving on a committee, please read and fill out the online volunteer form.

  • Volunteers are accepted on an ongoing basis.
  • Appointments are made by the PLA President and President-Elect, primarily in the spring.
  • Volunteers must be members of ALA and PLA.

Join the PLA Family Engagement Interest Group on ALA Connect to stay up-to-date on these topics and connect with peers on similar issues. PLA personal membership is required to join.

Staff Liaison

Scott Allen
Deputy Director