Emerging Leaders 2020/21 Projects

This page describes the projects worked on by the Emerging Leaders 2020-21 Cohort. If you have questions about any of the projects, you may either contact the staff liaison listed for each project, or send an email to the Emerging Leaders facilitators at emergingleaders@ala.org.



Project Title: Developing Reflective Explorers and Innovators                                                                                         

Hosting Unit: American Association of School Librarians (AASL)

Team Members:

Jamie Becker

Nathalie DeFelice

Jermaine Dennis

Monika Glowacka-Musial

Anna Keating

Jessica Regitano

Nick Weingardt

Member Guide: Devona Pendergrass, Librarian, Mountain Home High School Career Academies

Staff LiaisonStephanie Book, Manager, Communications, AASL

Project Description:

As learners prepare for college, career, and life, it is essential that they develop skills as explorers-curious, creative, collaborative, and critical thinkers. Learners who develop a growth mindset as explorers understand that with persistence they can solve problems through cycles of design, implementation, and reflection, building new knowledge and skills. School libraries are places of knowledge creation, as well as sources for information. The school library provides a venue for learners to explore personal and academic interests expressing voice and choice in their pursuits. As learners discover and innovate, experimenting with hands-on activities in the school library allows learners to practice and apply new knowledge, and to authenticate and deepen learning. Under the direction of a certified school librarian, school libraries are instrumental in fostering literacy and teaching inquiry skills to support lifelong learners and explorers. The American Association of School Librarians (AASL) tasked the 2020 ALA Emerging Leaders Team A with a project to develop materials that support professional development and instruction around the issues inherent in the National School Library Standards Shared Foundation of Explore-developing personal curiosity, tinkering and making, collaboratively solving problems, and iteratively responding to challenges in a growth mindset.

Team Video

Team A's video

Final Project Page:

The completed project materials live on the AASL Standards web portal.


Project Title: Celebrating 40 Years of Library Leadership and Beyond                                                                             

Hosting Unit: Asian Pacific American Librarians Association (APALA)

Team Members:

Jessica Agudelo

Dolores Brown

Yi Ding

Jia He

Jamie Kurumaji

Seungyeon Yang-Peace

Member Guide: Candice (Wing-yee) Mack, Administrator, Teen Services, Los Angeles Public Library

Staff Liaison: Kristin Lahurd, Interim Director of the ALA Office for Diversity, Literacy and Outreach Services (ODLOS)

Project Description:

To celebrate the 40th anniversary of APALA at ALA Annual 2020, this project used interviews with library leaders (past, present, and Emerging Leaders particularly from APALA and library leaders of color) to generate brief quotes to share their leadership experiences and values with the library community. Emerging Leaders (ELs) interviewed library leaders about what APALA and ALA means to them, how APALA and ALA has led the way in various capacities, their vision of APALA's future, etc. to gain insight into the leadership skills that have contributed to the achievements of APALA, in particular, and to the development of our profession in general. Profiles of these leaders and their quotes will be produced in various formats (print, slideshow, video, etc.) and will be distributed at APALA programs, meetings and activities, and awards banquet during ALA Annual Conference.

Team Video

Team B's video


Project Title: Section and Membership Engagement of Diversity and Inclusion                                                                   

Hosting Unit: Association of College and Research Libraries - Instruction Section (ACRL-IS)

Team Members:

Shelly Black

Patrice Green

Ericka Harris

Patrick Maracle

Amanda Roper

Erin Roper

Isabel Soto-Luna

Member Guide: Nikhat Ghouse, Associate Librarian for the Social Sciences Coordinator, American University

Staff Liaison: Megan Griffin, Senior Program Officer, ACRL

Project Description:

The ACRL Instruction Section (IS) charged a team of Emerging Leaders to build off the work of the Diversity & Inclusion Task Force (D&ITF). This task force, created in mid-2018 is engaged in identifying the current needs of IS membership as it relates to diversity and inclusion within IS and within the work of instruction programs and information literacy. The Emerging Leaders team would assist in analyzing data and making recommendations from the collected data from forthcoming surveys and focus groups/interviews conducted by the D&ITF. As a virtual community, we are committed to diversity and inclusion within our membership and our instruction programs and want to see tangible data that we as a unit can act upon.

Team Video

Team C's video


Project Title: Early Career Engagement: How Does ALA ACRL’s University Libraries Section Need to Evolve to Meet the Needs of a New Generation of Librarians?                     

Hosting Unit: Association of College and Research Libraries - University Libraries Section (ACRL-ULS)

Team Members:

Liana Bayne

Matthew Noe

Russel Peterson

Tiffany Raymond

Heather VanDyne

Member Guide: Lorelei Rutledge, University of Utah

Staff Liaison: Megan Griffin, Senior Program Officer, ACRL

Project Description:

The ACRL University Libraries Section is charged with advancing university librarianship, university library service, and the development of university libraries in institutions with graduate programs. In addition to supporting all of its members, the section would like to provide additional outreach and encouragement to early career librarians. An Emerging Leaders team conducted and completed a research project to gather information from a diverse sampling of early-careers to determine how ULS can better support this new generation of librarians.

Team Video

Team D's video


Project Title: International Librarians’ Mentorship Program in Action                                                                               

Hosting Unit: International Relations Round Table (IRRT)

Team Members:

Shayla Boyce

Jesse Caldwell

Damiana Fortenberry

Lauren Frazier

Zoë McLaughlin

Erica Saito

Member Guide: Dr. Muzhgan Nazarova, Turkic Languages Librarian, Library of Congress

Staff Liaison: Delin Guerra, Program Officer, International Relations Office

Project Description:

The International Librarians Network (ILN), based in Australia, had run a successful peer-mentoring program for several years but closed operations in 2017 due to a lack of funding for staff support. The Emerging Leaders (EL) 2019 Team G worked closely with IRRT to plan a peer-mentoring program that was closely aligned with IRRT values and replicated the successes of ILN in a sustainable way.


The EL 2020 Group E continued to work with IRRT with a major goal to launch the International Librarians Networking Program (ILNP) in 2020 and run a first cohort of participants to assist librarians from around the world to network and expand their knowledge and  skills through information exchange and collaboration. Thanks to the successful marketing campaign which included publishing program brochures in five foreign languages and taking advantage of different social media platforms to advertise the program, the ILNP had an overwhelming response especially considering the fact that everything was taking place during pandemic. 488 library professionals from 70 countries applied for ILNP participation via the Google Form submission. 47 pairs and 1 trio were selected for the first cohort of the program. Six Group E members and IRRT adviser served as liaisons for the pairs. They met weekly throughout more than 8 months (starting late January 2020) to prepare to launch the program in April 2020 and continued running the program till its end in August 2020. The ILNP participants selected their own means and frequency of communication with their partners and received monthly prompts from Group E to serve as conversation starters. The feedback received from ILNP participants in the mid-program survey helped the team to address some of their concerns by making some adjustments to the program and to make recommendations for the future. The results of the final survey showed an overall satisfaction with the program and the impact of ILNP on the careers of participants.  Some of the participants provided their own stories in testimonials posted on the ILNP blog. The participants were awarded the Certificates upon completion of the program. ILNP was featured in March and September issues of International Leads

International Leads article - September 2020

International Leads article - March 2020


The success of ILNP’s first cohort achieved by an exemplary commitment and dedication of Team E proved that the program can be sustainable within IRRT’s designated entity.

A proposal to create a separate subcommittee within IRRT submitted to the IRRT Board in October 2020 with a presentation of the Group E members at the Board’s Executive meeting in November 2020. The Board unanimously voted for the creation of a subcommittee. In February 2021, five volunteers from IRRT membership were recruited and joined Group E leader and IRRT adviser. ILNP 2021 started in late May with 28 pairs and 2 trios (62 participants from 27 countries selected from 270 applicants from 39 countries) run by 7 liaisons 6 pairs each.

Team Video

Team E's video


Project Title: Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion for Staff Development (Phase 2)                                                   

Hosting Unit: Learning Round Table

Team Members:

Victoria Blackmer

Maria Colish

Teresa Helena Moreno

Jodi Silverman

Franco Vitell

Desmond Wong

Member Guide: Amber Loveless, Assistant Manager, Queens Public Library

Staff Liaison: Danielle Ponton, Manager of ALA Round Tables

Project Description:

Building off a 2019 Emerging Leader project sponsored by the Learning Round Table that focused on creating an equity, diversity, and inclusion resource database, the 2020-21 Emerging Leader group pivoted the project into an Emerging Leader-led EDI discussion for fellow Emerging Leaders. The project was adapted due to pandemic conditions and already existing resources that the original project would have duplicated, like ALA's EDI Speakers Bureau. In addition, the cohort recognized a need for frank and authentic EDI discussions among the greater Emerging Leaders class. This project serves as a model for future iterations of Emerging Leaders and can be an integral part of their professional development.

Team Video

Team F's video


Project Title: Inventing a Sustainable Division

Hosting Unit: Library & Information Technology Association (LITA)

Team Members:

Kristen Cooper

Tonya Ferrell

Kelsey Flynn

Laura Mendez

Tonya Ryals

Paige Walker

Member Guide: Margaret Heller, Digital Services Librarian, Loyola University Chicago

Staff Liaison: Jenny Levine, Director of Advocacy, Connections, and Engagement, Core: Leadership, Infrastructure, Futures; Former Executive Director, Library & Information Technology Association (LITA)

Project Description:

In this project, an Emerging Leaders team built on ALA’s recent resolution on sustainability and brainstormed practical and groundbreaking ways for a division to live out this organizational value. The team conducted research on the implications of different activities and choices for the division, and benchmark against the practices of other associations inside and outside the library world. They presented the results of their research and made recommendations for new and changed practices. The team also considered how to make transitions in division practices and communicate them with the membership.

Team Video

Team G's video


Project Title: Library Weather Resiliency Clearinghouse    

Hosting Unit: New Members Round Table (NMRT)

Team Members:

Elizabeth Boden

Victoria Crim

Katherine Dannehl

Jennifer Embree

Rhonda Evans

Kayla Jean Kuni

Member Guide: Nicole LaMoreaux, Assistant Director of Research and Instructional Services, The New School

Staff Liaison: Kimberly Redd, Program Manager, Certification & Talent Development, Office for Human Resource Development and Recruitment, NMRT Staff Liaison

Project Description:

The EL Project Team created a central online clearinghouse where all libraries will be able to find information about promoting community resiliency in the face of climate change and other weather events. Information includes scientific resources, program examples for all ages, pre-weather emergency best practices, post-emergency resources, and more.

Team Video

Team H's video

Final Project Page:

Climate Change Library Lab Website

Additional Materials:

Google Slides