PLA Leadership Development

Martha Baden

Prescott (Ariz.) Public Library

Martha Baden, PLA Leadership Fellow“Five months later, I am drawing from the PLA Leadership Academy experience every day. My project, to work with library staff to identify community assets in preparation for a strategic planning process this fall and to establish contact with these individuals and organizations, is underway.

The library has benefitted in other ways from my PLA Leadership Academy experience, mostly from a shift in perspective about the library as part of the city. Although it is a city department, the library operated for years in a fairly independent manner. Recent changes to city administration sought to standardize city department operations and these changes (from smaller changes like using city letterhead on communications to more significant changes like losing a library-dedicated tech support to support from the city IT department) have been difficult for the library. Rather than resist some of these changes, I’ve suggested we embrace them and become a more integral part of the city, actively looking for ways to support city’s initiatives as well as the operations of other city departments. Our publicity is slowly changing over to be more identifiably city of Prescott, I’ve communicated with other city departments more regularly, and in the recent aftermath of the Yarnell Fire tragedy we have compiled resources for grieving families and made them available to city employees.”