Advocacy for Your Library During a Crisis

Wednesday, April 15, 2020
1:00-2:00 pm Eastern

Advocacy for Your Library During a Crisis


How can you work with your local elected officials on library advocacy during this time of COVID-19, and beyond? Learn how to approach advocacy during a time of crisis, and how to craft your messaging for success. A panel of expert speakers will provide guidance. Hear tips for Trustees, Friends, Foundations, and other community-based advocacy groups, as well as library staff.

Featured presenters will be Peter Pearson, 2019-2020 United for Libraries President; Libby Post, CEO, Communication Services; Megan Cusick, Assistant Director for State Advocacy in ALA’s Public Policy and Advocacy office, and Sonja Eyler, Librarian for the City of Presque Isle at the Mark & Emily Turner Memorial Library. Deborah Doyle, Chair of United for Libraries’ Legislative Committee and President of California Public Library Advocates, will moderate.


Peter Pearson is a Founder/Senior Consultant for Library Strategies Consulting Group. He was president of the Friends of the Saint Paul (Minn.) Public Library for 25 years. As president of the Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library, he led three capital campaigns and coordinated an annual grassroots advocacy campaign that added millions of dollars of public funding to the library's budget. He also served as a Trustee for the Twin Cities Regional Library System for 10 years.

Libby Post is a political consultant who uses her advocacy, marketing, and strategic communication skills to help libraries wage successful funding campaigns. She authored the five-part Library Campaign Training Institute. She serves on the United for Libraries Board and is a member of ALA’s Committee on Library Advocacy. She was a trainer for United for Libraries’ Neal-Schuman Citizens Save Libraries program. In her home state of New York, she has shepherded her library clients to voter victory with a win margin of 84%.

Megan Murray Cusick is the Assistant Director for State Advocacy in ALA’s Public Policy and Advocacy office. She assists the advocacy efforts of librarians, library staff and advocates across the country, in cooperation with other ALA offices, as well as state chapters and affiliates. She has also provided support to the Center for the Future of Libraries by identifying the work of libraries that intersects with broader social trends. Prior to joining ALA in 2015, Megan was a high school librarian and co-founder of Chi School Librarians.

Sonja Plummer Eyler serves as the Librarian for the City of Presque Isle at the Mark & Emily Turner Memorial Library. Sonja received a Bachelor of Science in Library Information Technology in 2003 and a Master of Library and Information Science at the University of South Carolina in 2007. As a past President for the Association for Rural & Small Libraries and President for the Maine Library Association, she is aware of the uniqueness of rural and remote libraries and the organizations supporting them. Sonja lives with a husband, daughter, 12 horses, and 2 dogs in Presque Isle, Maine.

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.


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