PLA receives IMLS Grant to continue leadership program for public librarians

For Immediate Release
Mon, 04/14/2014


Amy Sargent

Marketing and Communications Manager

Public Library Association (PLA)


CHICAGO — The Public Library Association (PLA), in partnership with the International City/County Management Association (ICMA), has just been awarded a 2014 Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program Grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) for the project, “Navigating Change, Building Community: Outward-focused Public Library Leadership Training.”

This three-year grant of $213,682 will enable PLA to refine and implement the PLA Leadership Academy: Navigating Change • Building Community introduced in March 2013 with support from IMLS. The PLA Leadership Academy is a unique leadership training program for public librarians. The asset-based curriculum developed with input from ICMA teaches librarians how to build successful relationships with local government and other community agencies.

“Working in a public library is not just about providing services within the library; it’s also about reaching out and connecting with our communities,” said Carolyn Anthony, PLA president. “The Academy is designed to empower librarians to do just that—to go beyond their library walls and become valuable partners and agents in creating a vital community.”

In addition to extending the Leadership Academy, the grant will allow PLA to conduct research to measure the impact of the program on participants and to convene a meeting of leadership training providers to share evaluation results and trade best practices.

For more information, please contact PLA at 1 (800) 545-2433, ext.5PLA, or

The PLA Leadership Academy: Navigating Change • Building Community was initially offered in March 2013. The academy included a three-and-a-half day, in-person educational/networking event; a professional coach program with experienced public library leaders and city managers; online events that build on the in-person experience and development of real-world projects to be implemented at attendees’ libraries. Twenty-four fellows were chosen via a selective application process and review by the PLA Leadership Committee.

The Public Library Association (PLA) is a division of the American Library Association. PLA’s core purpose is to strengthen public libraries and their contribution to the communities they serve. Its mission is to enhance the development and effectiveness of public library staff and public library services.

The International City/County Management Association (ICMA) is the premier organization of professional local government leaders building sustainable communities to improve lives worldwide.  ICMA provides member support; publications; data and information; peer and results-oriented assistance; and training and professional development to nearly 9,000 city, town, and county experts and other individuals and organizations throughout the world.

The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. Through grant making, policy development, and research, IMLS helps communities and individuals thrive through broad public access to knowledge, cultural heritage, and lifelong learning.