ALA Leadership Institute: Leading to the Future

image of Maureen Sullivan

picture of Kathryn Diess

Applications for the 2018 Leadership Institute will be accepted December 18, 2017 through March 9, 2018. The institute will take place August 6 – 9 in the Chicago area.

Nearly 100% of attendees rated the 2017 ALA Leadership Institute a “very positive” experience—the top rating possible! “This was the best professional development I have had related to leadership! The leaders were very knowledgeable and guided us in making our own decisions as they related to our personal situations.”

The American Library Association (ALA) Leadership Institute is a unique 4-day immersive leadership development program for future library leaders led by past ALA President Maureen Sullivan and library and leadership consultant Kathryn Deiss.

The institute includes a structured learning track and the opportunity for individual development.  

The institute will take place August 6-9, 2018 in the Chicago area.  A welcome reception will be held on Sunday evening, August 5.

"Wonderful atmosphere and congeniality among participants and between participants and facilitators. Great, nonthreatening learning environment."

Participants in the program …

  • Return to their institution with greater self-awareness and self-confidence, equipped with better skills for leading, coaching, collaborating, and engaging within their organizations and in their communities.
  • Return to their communities as better leaders, prepared to identify, develop, and implement solutions which will benefit all stakeholders.
  • Have the opportunity to form a vibrant learning community and network, which is an essential element of effective leadership development

Selection Criteria

The selection committee reviews applications to select a participant mix based on type of library (public, academic, school, special, etc.), organizational responsibility, geography, gender, and race/ethnicity. This selective process is based on demonstrated leadership potential, professional achievement and community or campus involvement.  Particular attention will be given to applicants’ personal statements as well as those of their references.  In addition, applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Have at least 5 years of library work experience
  • Have a letter of support from his/her employer
  • Be ready to assume a higher administrative or managerial role
  • Be an ALA member at time of application
  • Be able to attend the Institute in the Chicago area

Selected participants are mid-career librarians ready to assume a higher administrative or managerial role, with some history of community or campus involvement.

Cost per participant is $1,650 which includes training, materials, lodging, breakfast and lunch on all four days, dinner on Monday and Wednesday, and a free one-year membership to the Library Leadership & Management Association (LLAMA).

Read what previous participants have to say, and see the list of 2014, list of 2015list of 2016, and list of 2017 participants.


2017 ALA Leadership Institute Group Photo