For immediate release | December 6, 2016

Program for public library directors and their trustees to be featured in Symposium on the Future of Libraries

BRYN MAWR, Pennsylvania — As part of the Symposium on the Future of Libraries at the ALA Midwinter Meeting, United for Libraries will present “Building the Future: Public Library Directors and Their Trustees Making Future Policy Decisions Together!” on Sunday, Jan. 22, 10:30 to 11:30 a.m.

Public library directors are preparing to consider or are already discussing their future roles in the community, education, and the business of managing the operation of the library. This program will consider how trustees and library directors can communicate about library trends and related policy issues, and understand each other’s role in securing funding for innovation. At the conclusion of the program, attendees will understand some of the future issues that will challenge public library trustees and best practices for action and communication with their library directors.

Featured program speakers will be Susan J. Schmidt, president, United for Libraries; Sally Reed, executive director, United for Libraries; Fred Stielow, trustee, Anne Arundel County (Md.) Library System, and Peter Pearson, president, The Friends of the Saint Paul (Minn.) Public Library.

“Library directors and trustees are constantly being faced with the need for more funding to implement policy decisions and to keep up with emerging trends and innovations,” said Pearson. “The basic operating budget cannot keep up with the cost of these innovations. Philanthropy can play an important role in assuring that a library can keep up with the community’s needs for new services and programs. Philanthropy should be paired with an equally aggressive program of political advocacy to maintain and increase the public dollars available for library services. This program will explore the role of both fundraising and advocacy in supporting a library’s need for innovation.”

“I don't believe that fundraising and advocacy are instinctive traits for most public library trustees,” said Schmidt. “These qualities are necessary for any trustee who takes their responsibility seriously, and for any public library to be successful in the future.”

United for Libraries is a rich resource for trustees who need training, materials and advice about their role. Visit to learn more.

United for Libraries: The Association of Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends and Foundations, is a division of the American Library Association that supports those who govern, promote, advocate, and fundraise for libraries. United for Libraries brings together library Trustees, advocates, Friends, and Foundations into a partnership that creates a powerful force for libraries in the 21st century. For more information or to join United for Libraries, visit the United for Libraries website or contact Jillian Wentworth at (312) 280-2161 or

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Jillian Wentworth

Marketing/PR Specialist

United for Libraries