CHICAGO — The American Library Association (ALA) has selected 50 people to participate in its 2016 class of Emerging Leaders. The program is designed to enable library staff and information workers to participate in project planning work groups, network with peers, gain an inside look into ALA structure and have an opportunity to serve the profession in a leadership capacity early in their careers.
Maureen Sullivan, the program facilitator and Emerging Leaders working group co-chair, commented, “We welcome the 2016 class of ALA Emerging Leaders and are confident that each individual selected will bring talent, fresh ideas and perspectives, and commitment to contribute to the important work of the Association. “ Alexia Hudson Ward, co-chair of the Emerging Leaders working group, stated, “I am very excited to welcome this class of Emerging Leaders. Our Association’s long standing commitment to leadership development has resulted in an amazing talent pipeline, in which we continuously source for leadership opportunities at every level with ALA."
The Emerging Leaders program kicks off with a day-long session during the ALA 2016 Midwinter Meeting in Boston. Following the kickoff session, which includes orientation and training, the program will continue in an online learning and networking environment for six months. The program culminates with a poster session where the 2016 Emerging Leaders will showcase the results of their project planning work during the ALA 2016 Annual Conference in Orlando.
The Emerging Leader participants commit to taking part in all aspects of the program and may have an opportunity to serve on an ALA, division, chapter, round table or affiliate committee or workgroup upon completion.
Ward said, “I am particularly filled with a great sense of pride, serving as this year’s co-chair. As a member of the inaugural cohort of Emerging Leaders and a past ALA Executive Board member, I am a living testimony of the strength of this program and how it fosters one’s capacity to successfully lead within any team-based environment. I am thrilled to be a part of the learning journey with this cohort.”
Nearly 75 percent of this year’s participants have received sponsorships. The sponsors included ALA divisions, roundtables, state chapters, ALA affiliate groups and other organizations. Each sponsor commits to financial support of an Emerging Leader in order to help defray costs for attending the ALA Midwinter Meeting and the Annual Conference.
Sullivan said, “This program has succeeded in its goal to enable members who are in the first few years of their careers to have an opportunity to contribute to the leadership of ALA in this early stage. A number of their predecessors assumed leadership roles after completing the program. It is a privilege to know and have the opportunity to work with such talent."
The Emerging Leaders program is managed by the ALA Office for Human Resource Development and Recruitment (HRDR).