Our Board



Jackie Echols

Jackie Echols is an enviro-community activist and believes that a healthy environment is a prerequisite for healthy communities.  She is a staunch advocate for citizen involvement and the inclusion of local knowledge and expertise in governmental decision making processes, and she believes that citizens have a responsibility to participate in deliberations that affect their health and well-being.

Dr. Echols was born and raised in Tuskegee, Alabama, and attended Tuskegee Institute (now Tuskegee University) and Atlanta University.  She received a Ph.D. in Political Science from Clark Atlanta University.  Dr. Echols taught public administration at Atlanta University and Clark Atlanta University for over twelve years and currently serves at Assistant Vice President for Community Development at Benedict College in Columbia, South Carolina.    

 Jackie has first-hand knowledge of how important citizen input is for effective policy making, having served as president of the Underwood Neighborhood Association and chair of the Atlanta Tree Conservation Commission.  She is a founding member of the Peachtree Woodall Whetstone Watershed Alliance and also served as primary spokesperson for the Clean Streams Task Force in Atlanta.

Laura Hauser

Laura Hauser lives in Decatur, Georgia, where she is responsible for literacy services as part of the administrative team for the DeKalb County Public Library.  Before accepting that position, she taught college and high school English and worked as a private school librarian.  Laura earned an undergraduate degree in English and masters in Library and Information Management from Emory University.  She also has a masters degree and is ABD (all but dissertation) for a doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction at Georgia State University. 

 Laura’s passion for supporting public libraries is based on her belief that access to free information in numerous formats is at the heart of a democratic system of self-government.  She also feels that libraries provide a great opportunity for people of all ages and backgrounds to learn firsthand the value and satisfactions of sharing resources responsibly with others in their community.  When we enjoy and value what we share, we are more likely to value each other.  Through her active participation in and presentations at various professional conferences and associations, Laura has come to understand why it is critical for smaller towns in rural areas to receive extra help and encouragement in creating their own libraries.



Kathy Furr

Kathy Furr, a resident of Carrollton, Georgia, was among the first Carroll County residents who began raising funds to build a library in the small town of Whitesburg, Georgia.  As a charter member of the Friends of the Whitesburg Public Library, she knows that the realization of Whitesburg’s dream to build a library is a success story that can serve as an inspiration to other small communities who desire to better their citizens’ lives.

In addition to her work with the Friends of the Library, Kathy is a member and active volunteer with the Tanner Health System Auxiliary. 

She has worked with and advocated for people with disabilities, including her work as project manager for the purchasing, renovating and furnishing of group homes for people with disabilities.  She also served as department manager of plant maintenance, housekeeping and motor pool for a large nonprofit organization for 20 years. 


Omar Poler

Omar Poler coordinates Convening Culture Keepers, a series of professional development and networking mini-conferences for tribal librarians, archivists, and museum curators working in American Indian reservation communities. He is Associate Outreach Specialist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison's School of Library and Information Studies, where he received his MA in Library and Information Studies and teaches a course on indigenous information issues. An enrolled member of the Mole Lake Sokaogon Chippewa Community in northeastern Wisconsin, he learned to love reading and libraries from his parents––especially his father, Dan, who helped start one of state's earliest tribal libraries. His interests include Anishinaabemowin (Ojibwe) American Indian language revitalization, tribal histories, and listening to the music of the Great Lakes region.


Gary Flack is a resident of Atlanta Georgia who grew up in a suburb of New York City. He is a lawyer who helps individuals obtain their Social Security disability benefits. He began working at the Atlanta Legal Aid Society, and Social Security law has been his primary focus since the late 1970s. As a lawyer, Gary adds a new skill set to the RLP board.

Gary has been a patron of public libraries for over 60 years. He volunteered in his public school library as an elementary school student. Currently, he is as likely to check out books, as movies or CDs from the Atlanta- Fulton Public Library.

The Rural Library Project

The Rural Library Project, Inc.
585 Harold Ave NE,

Atlanta , GA 30307-1741
Phone: 404-377-5878
Fax: 404-377-5878
Email: danwhite@rurallibraryproject.org

|Home||Projects||YPL News||Education||YPL Tour||Energy Statement||Financial Statement||Site Map||Contact Us||Directions|

Copyright 1999. Positive Software Corporation. All rights reserved
YPL News
YPL Tour
Energy Statement
Financial Statement
Site Map
Contact Us
Email Me