Embracing a Public Service Mindset to Better Demonstrate Your Library’s Value


female bipoc character holding bullhorn

Public library workers and those we serve can get narrowly focused on the stuff that are housed in libraries. Yet public libraries serve the community in many ways besides book borrowing and computer use. By shifting our mindset to a public service focus and rethinking how we approach and talk about our work, we can not only demonstrate our value to the community but also change how the public perceives and talks about us for the better.

Learning Outcomes

At the conclusion of this webinar, participants will be able to:

  • Better understand what public service is and how it can guide and focus our work in public libraries; 
  • Develop strategies for how to talk about the value of public libraries in ways that resonate with the community; and 
  • Apply a public service lens to guide decision-making around programs and services. 

Who Should Attend

This webinar is intended for public library staff with an intermediate level of experience working in a public library.


Beth Yoke HeadshotBeth Yoke (she/her) has served as chief strategy officer for the Cincinnati and Hamilton County Public Library since 2018. Prior to that she served as executive director of the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), and has also worked as a university librarian, a high school librarian, and an elementary school teacher. In addition, Beth is currently serving on the board of the Chicago Chapter of the International Association for Strategy Professionals, and holds membership in several other organizations. She holds a Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science from Louisiana State University and a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Gettysburg College.


Important Registration Information

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Redeem your signup code to complete your registration

Once you’ve registered for this webinar, a signup code will be added to your ALA eLearning account and emailed to you. Find the signup code on your signup code page, then redeem it on your account’s dashboard to complete your enrollment in this live webinar.

Review the ALA eLearning FAQ if you need more information.


This live webinar will be CART captioned in English (United States). Zoom desktop client or mobile app is required to access captions.

Attendees using screen readers are advised to turn off speech prior to joining the Zoom event because PLA webinars make extensive use of chat functionality. Attendees who find chat distracting may wish to disable it in the Zoom event, as PLA moderators will verbally highlight important topics raised in chat and chat transcripts will be provided post-webinar.

If you have a physical or communication need that may affect your participation in this webinar, please contact us at plawebinars@ala.org or 800-545-2433 ext. 5PLA (5752) at least two weeks prior to the webinar. Without prior notification of need, we may not be able to provide appropriate accommodations for the live event.

Archived Recording

If you're unable to attend this live webinar, an archived recording will be available to all registrants typically within 1–3 business of the live event. Access to closed captions will be provided in the webinar recording.

Tech Requirements

This webinar will be presented using the Zoom platform. Please review Zoom technical requirements and support information, and test your connection.

Once you've joined the webinar, there are two ways to connect your audio: via computer (VoIP) or via telephone. No microphone is required. PLA works with its webinar platform provider to assure the highest quality audio is being delivered to attendees. However, variables over which PLA has no control—such as the speed of your Internet connection or traffic on your local network—can affect the end quality of the webinar audio delivered by your computer. Each webinar’s audio is also available by telephone via a toll number, so we recommend you have access to a long-distance enabled phone as a backup in case you experience audio issues with VoIP. If you do encounter any problems during the webinar, you will receive a link to its archived recording within a week of the live event and can review anything you missed.


This webinar is presented by the Public Library Association (PLA), a division of the American Library Association (ALA).

Questions about this webinar? Please contact us at plawebinars@ala.org or 800-545-2433 ext. 5PLA (5752).

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