ALA’s Volunteer Ambassadors

Posted Sunday, June 29, 2014 - 11:34
Volunteer coordinator Ruth Newell (far left), trustee for the Fountaindale Public Library in Bolingbrook, Illinois, gives the volunteer Ambassadors some tips. Photo by George M. Eberhart

Now in its fourth year, the Ambassador program run by the ALA Membership Development Office was in full force at the 2014 ALA Annual Conference in Las Vegas and operating out of the ALA Membership Pavilion. Paul Signorelli, who has served as consultant to the program, gave American Libraries a rundown on how it operates:

“The Ambassador program is a fabulous opportunity for librarians to provide reference for their peers at the conference. They give up two hours of their precious time to either ‘direct traffic’ from the Membership Pavilion, roam through the exhibit area, or conduct first-time attendee mentoring sessions. And the results are quantifiable and magnificent.

“I watched an admittedly confused first-time attendee interact with an Ambassador on Friday. The attendee came back that afternoon to tell us how much she enjoyed the conference because of those conversations. She called out to me Saturday from a book-signing line to tell me how much at home she felt because of the program.”

Comments

Thanks a million, George, for helping draw attention to all that the Ambassadors do to contribute to the positive experience ALA Annual Conference attendees have as a result of the volunteers' efforts. Hope others will join the ever-growing group of participants next year in San Francisco for the Annual Conference.