For immediate release | October 26, 2010

PLA’s latest webinar offers an innovative strategy to make public libraries indispensable

CHICAGO – At 1 p.m. CST on Nov. 15, the Public Library Association (PLA) will present a live, hour-long webinar, “Transforming Our Image,” led by Valerie Gross, president and CEO of Howard County Library in Maryland.

The webinar is designed to teach participants how to transform their public library and their profession by modifying the language they use. This simple, effective strategy will enable libraries to heighten their importance by replacing traditional words with powerful, intuitive, value-enhanced terminology.
Based on Gross’ award-winning article, “Transforming Our Image through Words that Work: Perception is Everything” (“Public Libraries,” Volume 48, Number 5 (2009):24-32), the webinar will help participants redefine their library and incorporate transformative words into the everyday lexicon; align their library with community valued education; and heighten their library’s visibility.
Cost to attend the webinar is $28 (PLA Members), $31.50 (ALA Members) and $35 (Nonmembers). Group rates are as follows: $99 (4-10 participants), $195 (11-20 participants), and $295 (21 participants and above). Click here for more information and to register for the webinar.
Valerie J. Gross has served as president and CEO of Howard County (Md.) Library (HCL) for 10 years. A passionate promoter of libraries, she believes the most effective way to convey the value of libraries is to speak in value-enhanced, intuitive terms people understand. Ms. Gross has led in the process to reposition HCL as a major component of education, which has resulted in nearly a tripling of library visits (1 million to 2.6 million), more than a doubling of materials borrowed (3 million to 7.2 million), research assistance interactions exceeding 1.3 million annually, and yearly attendance at classes and events totaling 186,000—in a county with 275,000 residents.

For more information about PLA, contact the PLA office at (800) 545-2433, ext. 5PLA, or visit PLA’s website at PLA is a division of the American Library Association. PLA’s core purpose is to strengthen public libraries and their contribution to the communities they serve. Its mission is to enhance the development and effectiveness of public library staff and public library services.


Amy Sargent