Why do you support the PLA Fund for the Future?
“As a younger librarian, I realized that my library wasn’t meeting the community’s need for teen services: with limited budgets and competing priorities, we didn't have much more than a summer reading program. Fortunately, I was selected to participate in the PLA Leadership Academy, which opened my eyes to a new model, Asset-Based Community Development. ABCD helps libraries identify and build on community strengths rather than focus on what they don’t—and may never—have. By mapping the assets in surrounding communities, our library identified various community and nonprofit partners, internal changes and program ideas that would engage teens. Now, through strategic partnerships and enhanced internal support we’re able to offer more robust programming for Denver teens, while positioning the library as a community leader. That’s why I became a founding donor to the PLA Fund for the Future, which will help our organization provide even more career-changing programming for the next generation of library leaders.”
– Michelle Jeske, City Librarian, Denver, CO
“I can’t think of another professional organization that more closely aligns the work of libraries and librarians with the needs of their communities the way PLA does. When we talk about leadership development, we’re not just talking about the next generation of great library directors or great library managers, we’re talking about training and equipping librarians to be agents of change and empowerment in their communities. When we talk about equity, diversity, and inclusion, we’re not just talking about who we recruit or hire or retain or support, we’re also talking about ways to make our libraries places that are safe and inclusive and welcoming for everyone. It’s because of PLA’s efforts that public library professionals like me are able to do really great work in our communities. That’s why I make it a point to support PLA, not only as a volunteer but also as a donor to the PLA Fund for the Future.”
– Christopher S. Warren, Director, Auburn (AL) Public Library
The PLA Fund for the Future will help support the next generation of library leaders through programs such as the Inclusive Internship Initiative (III), which introduces young people to careers in librarianship. Braxton Wells, a 2018 III participant, interned at Lincoln Library, located in the small community of Medicine Lodge, Kansas.
“I really enjoy helping the older patrons use electronics,” explains Wells, whose learning project focuses on digitizing library collections and town history. “This internship has expanded my knowledge of library resources, connected me with people across the U.S., and taken me places that no other job or internship has or most likely ever will. I’m grateful to PLA for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and thrilled to know that the PLA Fund for the Future will help continue amazing programs like this one.”
– Braxton Wells, intern, Lincoln Library (Medicine Lodge, KS)
Want to join these individuals in supporting the work of the Public Library Association? Find out how to show your support for PLA!
To add your own testimonial, please email Scott Allen, Deputy Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org.