ALA Leadership Institute: Leading to the Future

image of Maureen Sullivan

picture of Kathryn Diess

The American Library Association (ALA) Leadership Institute is a unique 4-day immersive leadership development program for future library leaders. It will be led by past ALA President Maureen Sullivan and ACRL Content Strategist Kathryn Deiss, and will include a structured learning track and the opportunity for individual development.  Building on the success of the 2013 inaugural Leadership Institute, the 2014 Institute will take place at the Eaglewood Resort and Spa in Itasca, IL on August 10-14, 2014.  (

The curriculum will include:

  • Leading in turbulent times
  • Interpersonal competence
  • Power and influence
  • The art of convening groups
  • Creating a culture of inclusion, innovation, and transformation

Inclusion in the institute is by online application only.  Applicants may nominate themselves or be nominated by their employer. Each Leadership Institute will be limited to 40 participants.

Participants in the program will…

  • 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 Leadership Institute selection committee seeks a diverse participant mix based on type of library (public, academic, school, special, etc.), organizational responsibility, geography, gender, and race/ethnicity. This will be a selective process 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:

  • Hold an MLS or equivalent degree
  • Have at least 5 years of post-MLS 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 Itasca, IL

Ideal candidates will be mid-career librarians ready to assume a higher administrative or managerial role, with some history of community or campus involvement.

Cost per participant is $1,200 including lodging, all meals, materials, and a free one-year membership to the Library Leadership & Management Association (LLAMA).

The Leadership Institute Application is now available. Completed applications, including required attachments, must be submitted electronically by 11:59 p.m. Central Time on Friday, April 25, 2014. Applicants may nominate themselves or be nominated by their employer. Applicants will be notified of selection results the week of May 12, 2014.

Read what previous participants have to say.


See the list of 2013 selected participants

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Support for the Institute is provided by Innovative Interfaces, Inc. Innovative is dedicated to providing leading technology solutions and services that empower libraries and enrich users worldwide.