For immediate release | April 28, 2020

United for Libraries to present free May 7 webinar on ‘How Foundations and Friends Can Support Their Libraries During COVID-19’

EXTON, Pennsylvania — United for Libraries will host the webinar “How Foundations and Friends Can Support Their Libraries During COVID-19” on Thursday, May 7, at 1 p.m. Eastern. Featured presenters will be Jonna Ward, CEO, Seattle Public Library Foundation; Michelle Jeske, city librarian, Denver Public Library; Nanci Morrison, president, Friends of the Palm Springs Library Board of Directors, and Karen Pierce, director, Slippery Rock Community Library. Deborah Doyle, Chair of United for Libraries’ Legislative Committee and President of California Public Library Advocates, will moderate. Registration is open and free to all.

The COVID-19 pandemic is having a major impact on public library budgets and spending. How can library Foundations and Friends of the Library groups best support their libraries during this time? Hear from library directors, a library Foundation director, and a Friends Board President on how their organization's priorities are shifting, and what initiatives they are planning to meet their library's changing needs.

Registration is open and free to all regardless of United for Libraries membership. Register for the webinar at Can’t join live? Register anyway and you will receive a link to the recording.

Jonna Ward joined the Seattle Public Library Foundation in 2001 and is the CEO. During her leadership, the Foundation has grown to be the largest public library foundation in the country based on assets under management. She is the co-founder of the International Public Library Fundraising Conference and creator of the #LibraryGivingDay concept.

Michelle Jeske is the Denver city librarian, head of the 26-location urban library system with more than 4.4 million annual visitors. Prior to the Denver Public Library, Jeske worked for the TLC CARL Corporation, San Antonio Public Library and New York Public Library. Michelle serves on the Public Library Association (PLA) Board of Directors and is currently the PLA President-Elect.

Nanci Morrison is president of the Board of the Friends of the Palm Springs (California) Library. She joined the board in 2012, became secretary in 2014, added vice president in 2016, and became president in 2018.

Karen Pierce is director of Slippery Rock (Pennsylvania) Community Library and has more than 13 years of experience in rural and small library development. The Slippery Rock Community Library Friends Group has twice won the Friends Group of the Year award from Pennsylvania Citizens for Better Libraries.

Deborah Doyle, MLIS, is chair of the United for Libraries Legislative Committee. She currently serves as vice chair of the Sonoma County Public Library Commission and president of California Public Library Advocates. She is a former president of the California Library Association.

United for Libraries: The Association of Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends and Foundations, is a division of the American Library Association with approximately 4,000 personal and group members representing hundreds of thousands of library supporters. United for Libraries supports those who govern, promote, advocate, and fundraise for libraries, and brings together library trustees, advocates, friends, and foundations into a partnership that creates a powerful force for libraries in the 21st century. To join, please visit or call (800) 545-2433, ext. 2161.


Trish McFadden

Program Coordinator

United for Libraries