Every Volunteer an Advocate: Empowering Boards and Friends for Action

Wednesday, August 18, 2021, 2:00 pm Eastern

Join a library educator and a public library director as we share and discuss strategies for helping board members and friends groups to develop dynamic relationships in the communities we serve. Our volunteers often have varied community connections, so why not leverage those relationships to make sure the library remains the hub of learning and workforce development when local, state, and federal funding decisions are made.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Learn how to conduct an environmental scan of your current volunteers to understand their community connections as well as skills and interests related to library issues.
  • Hear specific examples of how libraries have helped volunteers become the most informed and effective library advocates.
  • Develop goals and objectives for their own action plans for future meetings with their library boards and friends groups that engages current and future members in upcoming advocacy opportunities around library funding and support.


Steven Yates
Assistant Director and Assistant Professor, University of Alabama SLIS; Member, Friends of Tuscaloosa Public Library 

An Alabama native, Steven worked in school and public libraries in the Birmingham area before joining the University of Alabama faculty in 2013. Steven is a life member of the American Library Association, a past president of the American Association of School Librarians, and a current member of ALA's Policy Corps.

Dr. Jessica Ross
Director of the Washington County (AL) Public Library

Dr. Jessica M. Ross has served as Director of Washington County Public Library in Chatom, Alabama, for 17 years. She received her MLIS Degree from University of Southern Mississippi, and Ph.D. in Communication & Information Science from University of Alabama, where she served as a research assistant for the School of Library & Information Studies. Her primary research focuses on community development, rural communication infrastructure, and public library partnerships. Jessica was awarded the 2019 National Public Service Award by the American Society for Public Administration and is a volunteer member of many Boards of Directors and community service organizations in her community. She serves as Legislative Chair of the Alabama Library Association and is a library advocate and Congressional Key Contact for the American Library Association. 


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