Press "Enter" to skip to content

‘Advancing Your Library Agenda Post-Elections’ webinar to offer strategies for early engagement with elected leaders

Panel to feature internet pioneer Larry Irving

WASHINGTON – On Wednesday, October 21, the American Library Association (ALA) Public Policy and Advocacy Office will host a panel of thought leaders and advocates on how library workers and advocates can prepare to engage with (re)elected officials and candidates. Register to attend the webinar, which will be held from 3:00-4:00 p.m. (EDT). 

Hundreds of newly elected local, state, and federal officials will be sworn in January 2021, but their work – and advocates’ – starts now. The panel discussion will focus on using the weeks after the election to tell your library story and advance policy priorities, from broadband access to library funding.

Moderated by ALA President Julius C. Jefferson, Jr., the webinar will feature ALA Policy Corps member and advocate Nikki Scarpitti and Public Affairs Council strategic communications expert Nick DeSarno as well as Larry Irving, former U.S. assistant secretary of commerce for communications and information, administrator of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), and the first African American inducted into the Internet Hall of Fame.  

Using early internet access and adoption as a case study, speakers will address  

  • The role libraries played in early access to the internet
  • Why library advocacy is more critical than ever for communities
  • How one library advocate worked with their Board and Friends to identify potential champions from new and incumbent officials  
  • Strategies for engaging elected leaders through digital communications

Learn from experts how to achieve the greatest return on investment for their outreach efforts. Participants will come away with ideas to position their library as a community champion and valued resource for elected officials as well as tools to help library advocates impact public policy discussions, no matter who is in office.

Registration required

Time: Wednesday, October 21, 3:00-4:00 p.m. (EDT)


Nick DeSarno is director of digital and policy communications for the Public Affairs Council, a leading nonpartisan, nonpolitical association or public affairs professionals worldwide. He is the Council’s lead expert on digital advocacy topics and convenes the industry’s leading executive education programs on public affairs communications strategies. Prior to joining the Council, Nick was the manager of grassroots advocacy at the American Dental Association, where he managed numerous digital advocacy campaigns on the federal and state level. Previously, Nick served as deputy communications director, legislative aide and deputy campaign manager to federal and state officials. Nick has led executive training sessions across the globe for dozens of Fortune 100 companies and has been quoted as a digital communications expert in various outlets including: The Washington Post, The Hill, BuzzFeed and The New York Times.

Larry Irving is President and CEO of the Irving Group, a consulting firm providing strategic advice and assistance to international telecommunications and information technology companies, investors, philanthropies, and non-profit organizations. Prior to founding the Irving Group in 1999, Mr. Irving served for almost seven years as Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information and Administrator of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), where he was a principal advisor to the President, Vice President and Secretary of Commerce on domestic and international telecommunications and information technology issues. The 2000 recipient of ALA’s James Madison Award, Mr. Irving was named one of the fifty most influential persons in the “Year of the Internet” by Newsweek Magazine and was elected to the Internet Hall of Fame in 2019 for his pioneering efforts identifying the “digital divide” and advocating for domestic and international policies to increase more equitable access to the internet and related technologies.   

Nikki Scarpitti is director of strategic initiatives & advocacy at Columbus Metropolitan Library, where she leads local, state, and federal government relations for the library system. She also leads executive communications for the CEO and provides strategic oversight for the Friends of the Library, a 501(c)(4) membership and advocacy organization. Ms. Scarpitti is a member of the ALA Policy Corps. Previously, Ms. Scarpitti was Manager of Government & Community Relations at University Hospitals in Cleveland, Ohio.   

Originally published at

ShowBiz - Show Biz clinic originally published at ShowBiz - Show Biz clinic