National Dialogue on the Curriculum of Readiness for the 21st Century Librarian

ALA Annual Conference - Chicago, Illinois - Tuesday June 28, 2005


Plenary Session I: Preparing Leaders for 21 st Century Library and Information Service

Clara Chu:  A person who doesn't just talk, but walks the walk, is who is going to lead us and moderate our next session, and that is Rhea Brown Lawson. She is the Deputy Director of the Detroit Public Library and she will have her panel come up.

Rhea Brown Lawson:  Good morning.

Audience:  Good morning!

Rhea Brown Lawson:  I am so excited about today's program and I hope you are too. Thank you for joining us for what will prove to be an interesting, informative, thought provoking and timely discussion.

I am sure that you will agree with me that our world is changing. And as a result everything about our industry points to change. Some of the changes we are experiencing can be directly linked to the so called graying of the profession, increasing ethnic populations, and other demographic shifts in our communities, technological advances, decreased funding levels, dynamic political environments, community interconnectivity and new expectations from our customers, to name just a few.

These changes have already had, and will continue to have, a major impact on the way we do business. The changes have also influenced our thinking about library leadership. Specifically the types of leadership needed and how we will prepare and select new leaders for the future.

Who will be the new library leadership, and what do we need to do to prepare them? To help us focus on these issues we are very fortunate to have a distinguished panel of experts representing various types of libraries.

Our panel will address the educational and early career developmental experiences necessary to provide leaders with the appropriate skills they need to provide effective service delivery and leadership in various types of library environments in the 21st century. They will discuss, from their vantage points, what is needed to enhance experiences in both library education and in practice to prepare the next generation of library leaders for the future.

Please help me welcome from library education, Dr. Mark Winston, from public libraries, Greg Reese, from academic libraries Camila Alire. Did I say that correctly? Almost. OK. [laughter]

Rhea:  From school media centers, Claudette McLinn, and representing medical and special libraries, Carla Funk. Please help me welcome them.


Rhea:  Each panelist will give a brief presentation and we'll begin with Dr. Winston.