Volume 24, Number 1 2002


New Jersey Combines the Best in Leadership

by Connie Paul

Phase One of the New Jersey Leadership Program was sending two New Jersey librarians to out-of-state institutes in July, 2001. In a competition among 22 librarians, Heidi Cramer, Newark PL, was selected to attend the Annapolis program and Hui Min Kuo, Kean University, participated in the Stanford program. Registration was paid by the State Library and out-of-pocket expenses were paid by Central Jersey Regional Library Cooperative from their LSTA grant. Both participants, as required, helped plan the New Jersey Academy of Library Leadership. Heidi is also one of 25 attendees.

A committee of library leaders, nicknamed the Brain Trust, have been consultants on the entire leadership program: Norma Blake, Leslie Burger, Karen Hyman, Elaine McConnell, Claire McInerney, Carol Nersinger, Karen Novick, Claudia Sumler, Pat Tumulty, and Mark Winston.

In addition, a committee of Leadership graduates helped design the layout and curriculum of the Academy: Peter Bromberg, South Jersey Regional Library Cooperative; Heidi Cramer, Newark PL; Ellie Fogerty, Teachers College of New Jersey; and Hui Min Kuo, Kean University. Each of them will also participate as a panel leader in the Academy.

The New Jersey Academy of Library Leadership began its formal phase on January 6-7, 2002, with a weekend retreat at the Rutgers University Inn and Conference Center on the Douglass Campus. The Retreat will be led by Barbara Miller and John Vogelsang of the Support Center for Nonprofit Management. They will also facilitate the last session on Evaluation in October.

The April session of the Academy featured Maureen Sullivan, a consultant from Maryland and the keynote speaker for ALA's Leadership Pre-conference at Midwinter 2002. (Connie Paul attended that pre-conference as one of two representatives from New Jersey). Maureen's topic will be “Creativity and Risk Taking”. The New Jersey Library Association's Emerging Leaders group will be invited to join the Academy for the day.

The Central Jersey Regional Library Cooperative and its partners are requesting continued funding for the next Leadership Academy, tentatively scheduled for the summer of 2003, which is envisioned as a week-long retreat timed to allow participation by school library media specialists. “This is the format followed by most state leadership programs, although it does not allow for the processing and preparation time that a more extended program offers. It would be interesting to compare the evaluations of the two formats,” noted Paul.

The planners also prepared a brochure for all library staff to highlight the leadership training opportunities being offered in New Jersey now. It gives a brief description and contact information for current programs in addition to the New Jersey Academy of Library Leadership, including training for school library media specialists, Train the Trainer sessions offered by the New Jersey State Library, New Jersey Library Association's Emerging Leaders, regional training from the four Regional Library Cooperatives, SuperSupervisor coordinated for the New Jersey Library Network by the Highlands Regional Library Cooperative.

The Central Jersey Regional Library Cooperative would like to thank Norma Blake for her vision in funding the leadership project which has generated a lot of energy in the state. For more information, contact Connie Paul, Executive Director of CJRLC, or visit the CJRLC web site.