PLA Leadership Academy

2013 PLA Leadership Academy logoUPDATE! This spring PLA was awarded a 2014 Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program Grant from IMLS to refine and implement the PLA Leadership Academy, again in partnership with ICMA. PLA will offer an academy March 2327, 2015.

In March 2013, PLA offered its first ever “PLA Leadership Academy: Navigating Change and Building Community.” 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.

Developed with support from the Institute of Museum and Library Services and in collaboration with the International City/County Management Association (ICMA), the PLA Leadership Academy offered a groundbreaking focus on developing the skills needed to work with municipal officials and other community stakeholders to enhance the position of the library within the community and improve the overall effectiveness of library services and programs. The curriculum was designed by the PLA Leadership Committee with the assistance of ICMA and Adam Goodman, director of the Center for Leadership, Northwestern University, Evanston, Ill., and builds on PLA’s previous leadership training.

PLA Leadership Fellows

Martha Baden, Prescott (Ariz.) Public Library; Donna Browne, Muncie (Ind.) Public Library; Renee Di Pilato, Alexandria (Va.) Library; Lori Fisher, Baker Free Library, Bow, N.H.; Marc Gartler, Madison (Wisc.) Public Library; Tim Gleisner, Grand Rapids (Mich.) Public Library; Toby Greenwalt, Skokie (Ill.) Public Library; Monica Harris, Oak Park (Ill.) Public Library; Jennifer Hoffman, Denver (Colo.) Public Library; Penny Hummel, Canby (Ore.) Public Library; Jason Hyatt, Charlotte Mecklenburg (N.C.) Library; Michelle Jeske, Denver (Colo.) Public Library; Miriam Lytle, Gail Borden Public Library District, Elgin, Ill.; Suzanne McGowan, Rangeview Library District, Thornton, Colo.; Juliane Morian, Clinton-Macomb (Mich.) Public Library; Jill Porter, Traverse Area (Mich.) District Library; Sylvia Richardson, Palos Verdes Library District, Rolling Hills Estate, Calif.; Jennifer Schember, Las-Vegas Clark County (Nev.) Library District; John Skrtic, Cleveland (Ohio) Public Library; Kris Springer, St. Joseph County (Ind.) Public Library, German Township Branch; Aiden Street, Southwest Oklahoma City (Okla.) Public Library, Pioneer Library System; Hillary Theyer, Torrance (Calif.) Public Library; Ali Turner, Hennepin County (Minn.) Library; and Donna Worden, Berkeley County (S.C.) Library System

PLA Leadership Coaches

Carolyn Anthony, director, Skokie (Ill.) Public Library; Audra Caplan, former library director, Harford County (Md.) Public Library; Karen Danczak-Lyons, director, Evanston (Ill.) Public Library; Liz Miller, deputy city manager, Tucson, Ariz.; Neel Parikh, director, Pierce County (Wash.) Library System; Jan Sanders, director, Pasadena (Calif.) Public Library; Raymond Santiago, director, Miami Dade (Fla.) Public Library

What’s Next

As the academy was a pilot event developed with support from an IMLS planning grant, PLA is completing the final requirement of the grant—reviewing evaluations and feedback and assessing the program for effectiveness and sustainability. PLA hopes to secure future funding with the intent to develop a biennial leadership education event that builds on the successes and learnings of the 2013 PLA Leadership Academy.

This project is supported in part by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.