The American Library Association (ALA) Leadership Institute is a unique 4-day immersive leadership development program for future library leaders led by past ALA President Maureen Sullivan and Library and Leadership Consultant Kathryn Deiss. The institute includes a structured learning track and the opportunity for individual development.
Date: August 2-6, 2020
Location: Hilton Oak Brook/Chicago Conference Center and Resort in Oak Brook, Illinois
Registration Cost: $1,650 (includes training, materials, lodging, meals, and a one-year membership to the Library Leadership & Management Association (LLAMA))
The selection committee reviews applications to select a participant mix based on type of library (public, academic, school, special, etc.), organizational responsibility, geography, gender, and race/ethnicity. This selective process is based on demonstrated leadership potential, professional achievement and community or campus involvement. Particular attention will be given to applicants’ personal statements as well as those of their references. In addition, applicants must meet the following criteria:
Selected participants are mid-career librarians ready to assume a higher administrative or managerial role, with some history of community or campus involvement.
Maureen Sullivan is a widely recognized leader and educator in the library profession, leading many leadership development programs around the USA including TALL Texans, the New England Library Leadership Symposium. During her term as ALA president in 2012-2013 she launched The Promise of Libraries Transforming Communities, a partnership with The Harwood Institute for Public Innovation, to prepare librarians to be conveners of community engagement and public innovators in their communities. She also created ALA’s first national leadership institute, Leading to the Future.
Kathryn Deiss is a widely recognized expert in leadership and organization development. She has served as faculty for national and regional leadership development programs such the ALA Leading to the Future Leadership Institute, NLM/AASHL Leadership Fellows Program, the TRLN Management Academy, the Richland Library Leaders Program (SC), the University of Minnesota Leadership Institute for Early Career Librarians from Underrepresented Groups, and the ARL Leadership & Career Development Program and is a frequent facilitator of retreats, change initiatives, workshops, and other types of meetings across the United States and abroad.
“This was, by far, the best professional development I have attended in 15 years as an educator. . . .An informative and exciting journey into leadership development. . . . For that kind of cohesion to take place nearly instantly among 40 attendees and two instructors from so many different cultures and backgrounds in such a short amount of time is something truly remarkable and unforgettable. . . . Over the past several months, I have tried to employ the skillful discussion model, with my colleagues and with my elementary age students. A great part of my vocation is to respond to students and faculty members’ needs. Skillful discussion moves beyond exchange of knowledge to working together to develop and implement solutions or complete a project. I hope I have worked better at listening to students and teachers as a result and responded more efficiently to their needs.”
“The dynamics of this particular group were so extraordinary, I feel like when I “see” them [on social media] it’s like connecting with an old friend. Several participants have shared links and ideas related to leadership and librarianship through the Facebook group. . . . It was truly an exchange of ideas rather than knowledge being dumped into the brain. The short term results of the institute were a renewed feeling of self-confidence and dedication to serving students in the library. . . .I would tell the next institute class to buckle their seat belts and prepare for a ride! Seriously, I would encourage participants to talk to everyone there, exchange phone numbers, stay late at the dinner table and be mentally present through the entire week.” – Jennifer L. Anders, West Jefferson Elementary School, Quinton, AL (read more)
“The ALA Leading to the Future Leadership Institute is an excellent chance to get to meet and learn from other emerging library leaders in an immersive learning environment. I appreciated the knowledge, expertise and advice provided by the Institute leaders – Kathryn and Maureen – in addition to their willingness to learn from us. The positive, interactive and engaging environment of the Institute makes it an ideal place for librarians, from public to academic, to learn from their colleagues, peers and even their own self-reflection. Highly recommended to librarians throughout Canada and the US!” – Terra Plato, Manager: Branch Services, Lethbridge Public Library, Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada
“The ALA Leadership Institute was an excellent professional development program for me with a new library manager lens. The curriculum was very relevant to my current and future work; it was time well spent. The facilitators were extremely knowledgeable about leadership in libraries and were deft in leading discussions. I learned a great deal from my fellow participants that came from all types of libraries. The passion that they brought to libraries was invigorating and inspiring. On a personal level, I committed to continuing my leadership learning, focusing on how to coach and mentor library staff. I also felt more equipped to obtain and succeed in a permanent library dean position. I highly recommend applying for this immersive leadership institute to other future library leaders.” – Pearl Ly, Interim Assistant Dean, Library Services, Pasadena City College
“It was my hope that the ALA Leadership Institute would be a highly interactive professional experience where I could explore and hone my current leadership skills; while learning new or additional techniques of leadership behavior and theories in a supportive, creative and innovative library-orientated environment. The Institute met and far exceeded my expectations.
It was a think tank of 40 professional librarians who were as passionate as I am about their careers, clientele and purpose. It was an empowering learning experience that left me committed to applying what I learned. The Institute helped me to identify my personal strengths and allowed me to examine my areas of needed growth as a leader, while also allowing me to help the other 39 individual do the same in a collective body through examination of theories, methodologies and individual case studies.
Additionally, I have always tried to be an effective and efficient leader that cares and empowers those whom I supervise or work with to be the best that they can be in whatever tasks or duties that are needed. I have always been comfortable with interactions with the public and staff. I am also comfortable with delegation, evaluation, scheduling, applying ethical standards and behavior. As a result of the Institute, I am incorporating what I learned by applying the leadership models and competencies studied and enhanced, such as crucial conversations and sphere of influences, in my daily work activities, duties and related tasks. I am also further augmenting and developing the learned professional ideologies with additional professional literature, such as the Harvard Business Review, and visual learning through various means, such as TED Talks and professional development webinars on management and leadership.
The ALA Leadership Institute was the best professional development training that I have ever participated in 27 years of working in a professional setting. It has and will continue to guide me in my career in librarianship.” – Rayburne “Ray” J. Turner, Assistant Branch Manager/Reference Services Manager, Otranto Road Regional Branch-Charleston County Public Library, North Charleston, SC
“When I got back to work from the ALA Leading to the Future Leadership Institute in August 2013, I couldn’t stop talking to everyone who would listen about what an inspiring and life-changing time the week at the Institute was for me. Of course we learned about various leadership principles, development and how to engage our staff and communities, but the thing I found unexpected was how much I learned about myself in the process. To truly be a leader with impact, you first have to turn inward and examine what you are doing and how that is being received by those around you to truly make positive change. The Institute gave me tools to do this self-analysis and I already see the effects of these discoveries in the work that I do with those around me.
Due to my exposure of the concepts covered in the Institute, I was appointed to a Public Innovation Team with a few of my colleagues and we have been tasked with taking what we have learning about how to engage both staff and community to lead special projects, especially embracing the ALA Harwood Institute principles to turn outward and ask what our communities want from us. I have also been mentoring several members of our staff on the concepts we covered at Institute so they can pay forward this knowledge to those working with and around them as well.
Overall, the Leading to the Future Leadership Institute was such an amazing experience for me. Maureen Sullivan and Kathryn Deiss were such knowledgeable and engaged facilitators and continue to be open to working with us on any issues or questions that arise. I also met and developed relationships with 39 librarians from across the country full of energy, talent and vision. After being around this amazing group, I definitely feel good about the future of our profession with up and coming leaders like these. Thank you so much for this incredible opportunity!” – Nikki Winslow, Spring Valley Library Branch Manager, Las Vegas, NV
“The institute reinforced my belief that leadership is about building relationships. Through these relationships we can interact with others – whether in the workplace or in the community — to provide them with the resources that can help change their lives and their communities. As a public librarian, my focus is on what our library can do to encourage informed citizens to build strong communities that they will want to continue to live, grow and serve in in the future. The institute gave me direct learning tools to take back to my workplace and make an impact. These tools came not only from the Leadership Guides but from the small group interactions that occurred at the institute.
The Leadership path is a journey. I found strength in the larger fellowship discussions at the institute – that no matter the focus of that particular person’s library profession – academic, public, school, special – the leadership skills needed were the same. This idea – that all leaders share the same skill set, no matter the professional focus – was a strength I took away from the institute. I have developed more confidence in myself and feel more comfortable inside my ‘leader skin’ since attending the institute. Many thanks for this wonderful experience.” – Robin R. Clark, Library Director, Sump Memorial Library, Papillion, NE