Emerging Leaders 2023 Project Summaries

This page gives information on the projects worked on by American Library Association's Emerging Leaders 2023 teams.

Team: A

Project Title: Developing Inquisitive Learners, Critical Thinkers, and Resourceful Citizens'

Host Unit: American Association of School Librarians (AASL)

Team Members:

Cybele Garcia Kohel

Sara Levine

Brittany Sharitz

Brandi Veal

Member Guide: Courtney Lewis, Director of Library Services and Innovative Research, St. Catherine's School, VA

Staff Liaison: Stephanie Book, Manager, Marketing & Non-serial Publications, AASL

Project Description:

Inquiry is inherent to a school library and at its essence, is a microcosm of the thought processes learners will face once they leave the controlled and linear thinking of a traditional classroom. The world and its workplaces today require citizens who are inspired self-learners. Learners who can employ an inquiry process to solve problems begin to see authentic purposes for their questions, becoming more resourceful and adaptive citizens. For the school librarian, cultivating a culture of inquiry goes further than teaching research skills and the act of asking good questions. In an effort to help school librarians develop their physical and digital spaces as a space that is conducive to equitable inquiry, the AASL cohort of the 2023 ALA Emerging Leaders were tasked with creating an activity guide to develop materials that support professional development and instruction around the skills inherent in the National School Library Standards (2018) Shared Foundation of Inquire—to “build new knowledge by inquiring, thinking critically, identifying problems, and developing strategies for solving new problems'' (AASL 2018, 67). [AASL American Association of School Librarians. 2018. National School Library Standards for Learners, School Librarians, and School Libraries. Chicago: ALA]

Final Project Page:

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

Team Video:

Team A's video


Activity Guide

Resource Matrix

Applied Framework (TOC)

Driving Inquiry in the School Library: A Journey Through the Three C’s (Infographic)

Team: B

Project Title: Online Instruction Technology

Host Unit: Association of College and Research Libraries Distance and Online Learning Section (ACRL-DOLS)

Team Members:

Nathaniel (Lee) Bareford

Justin Fuhr

Kelli Anne Gecawich

Julia Martyniuk

Christopher Vaughn

Member Guide: Chiméne E. Tucker, Interim Assistant Dean for Faculty Affairs, University of Southern California Libraries, Los Angeles, CA

Staff Liaison: Lauren Carlton, Membership & Marketing Specialist, ACRL

Project Description:

The team was asked to identify how academic librarians consider accessibility in designing and delivering online instruction and to identify tools and technologies used to support online instruction that provides access for users with accessibility differences.

Team’s Report

Team’s Video

Team’s Video Slide Deck

Team's Poster

Team: C

Project Title: APALA for Another 40

Host Unit: Asian Pacific American Librarians Association (APALA)

Team Members:

Stacey Akahoshi

Karleen Delaurier-Lyle

Maria Fernandez

Gabi Huesca

Meng Qu

Member Guide: Annie Pho, Head of Instruction and Outreach, University of San Francisco, CA

Staff Liaison: Kevin Strowder, Director, ALA Office for Diversity, Literacy and Outreach Services (ODLOS)

Project Description:

APALA will celebrate 45 years in 2025. The organization has a long, rich history of addressing the needs of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islander librarians and those who serve Asian American, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander communities. APALA is also a volunteer-run organization made up of over 120 officers and organizers who serve on the executive board, standing committees, and task forces, and as representatives to affiliate and partner organizations, such as to ALA Diversity Counts, the Association for Asian American Studies, the Joint Council of Librarians of Color Board, and more. Officers and organizers mostly serve one- or two-year terms, are spread across geographic regions, and collaborate virtually using a number of different systems and processes to undertake their important work. The team was tasked with advising the organization on its archival and records practices, supporting the revision of a records management policy, and guiding the migration of existing records to a new content management platform.

Team’s Report

Team’s Video

Team: D

Project Title: Member Onboarding

Host Unit: Black Caucus of the American Library Association (BCALA)

Team Members:

Kate Applebee

Nicollette Davis

Alexis HaleyBrown

Simone Williams

Member Guides: Rudolph Clay, Head of Diversity Initiatives and Outreach Services, Washington University Libraries, St. Louis, MO and Nichelle Hayes, Interim CEO, Indianapolis Public Library, Indiana

Staff Liaison: Kevin Strowder, Director, ALA Office for Diversity, Literacy and Outreach Services (ODLOS)

Project Description:

The team was asked to develop and administer a survey to assess BCALA new members’ satisfaction with the current onboarding process. After analyzing survey results, the team will identify trends in new members’ perceptions of the BCALA’s onboarding process and offer recommendations for improvements.

Team’s Report

Team’s Video

Team: E

Project Title: Library Communities Vote!

Host Unit: Government Documents Round Table (GODORT); and Social Responsibilities Round Table (SRRT)

Team Members:

Kelly Bilz

Jennifer Castle

Amanda He

Hale Polebaum-Freeman

Laura Tadena

Member Guides: Kian Flynn, Geography & Global Studies Librarian, University of Washington Libraries, Seattle, WA; LaJuan Pringle, Community/Neighborhood Branch Manager, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, North Carolina; Benjamin Aldred, Reference Librarian, University of Illinois - Chicago

Staff Liaison: Danielle Ponton, Program Manager, ALA Round Tables

Project Description:

Voter registration and turnout data show that some communities are less likely to vote than others. Many people that use all types of libraries (public, school, and academic) are members of these low-propensity voting communities – lower income, lower educational attainment, and younger voters. This project seeks to empower librarians with the foundations to reach their communities in simple and understandable ways with template scripts and signage that will signal to our communities that libraries are ready to provide our patrons with information to help them register to vote. The team was asked to create an active, informative, and non-partisan campaign for libraries of all types to support community members in registering to vote and voting.

Team’s Report

Team’s Video

Team: F

Project Title: Finding Silent Censorship

Host Unit: Intellectual Freedom Roundtable (IFRT)

Team Members:

Maya Bergamasco

Sarah Colbert

Paul McMonigle

Rachel Wells

Member Guide: Angela Ocana, Community Services Manager, Eugene Public Library, Oregon

Staff Liaison: Karen Gianni, Program Coordinator, Freedom to Read Foundation

Project Description:

Approximately ten years ago, there were three different independent reports in individual states that gathered information about challenges to materials and services in libraries outside of ALA’s reporting methods. Each state used different methods to gather information; Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, state reporting forms, or mandatory annual reports. When ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom compared the state information to the information reported to ALA, they discovered that 82-97% of challenges and bans are unreported. The goal of the "Finding Silent Censorship" project was to update the “82-97% unreported” statistic and raise awareness of the necessity of reporting censorship to ALA. The team was asked to develop efficient and effective methods for gathering comprehensive challenge information and to create an active, informative, and non-partisan campaign for libraries of all types to support community members in registering to vote.

Team’s Report

Team’s Video

Team's Survey Instrument

Team: G

Project Title: International Librarians Networking Program (ILNP)

Host Unit: International Relations Round Table (IRRT)

Team Members:

Alex Dodd

Lucy Flamm

Beth Jarrell

Matthew Symes

Member Guide: Erica Saito, Information and Library Specialist, International Food Policy Research Institute, VA

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

Project Description:

The International Librarians Networking Program (ILNP) is modeled after the International Librarians Network (ILN) Peer Program to assist librarians from around the world with networking and expanding their skills in librarianship through a cooperative and collaborative program. Previous ALA’s Emerging Leaders teams developed and launched the program. This year’s team is asked to identify areas of success in the International Librarians Networking Program as well as areas for improvement and offer recommendations for program sustainability.

Team’s Report

Team’s Video

Team's Bookmark

Team: H

Project Title: Driving Engagement

Host Unit: New Members Round Table (NMRT)

Team Members:

Taylor Brooks

Allie Genia

Carly Jessup

Jennifer Powell

Genevieve (Jennie) Stevens

Member Guide: Annice Sevett; Library Director, Albert Lea Public Library, Minnesota

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

Project Description:

For over 80 years, New Members Round Table (NMRT) has been the first stop for many individuals new to ALA. NMRT provides valuable services and programs, an avenue for new members to make connections, and guaranteed committee appointments for those looking to get involved in the association. NMRT members are at all stages of their careers and work in every type of library and library adjacent organizations. Last year, a group of Emerging Leaders undertook an analysis of NMRT's services, programs, and committees. One finding that emerged is that NMRT members do not know everything NMRT offers to its members. In addition, NMRT has seen decreased engagement in recent years with our services, programs, and the round table as a whole. The team conducted an assessment to determine how current members of the host organization learn about opportunities within the round table, and to learn about what knowledge gaps exist among organizational members related to services offered by the organization. The team produced marketing recommendations.

Team’s Report

Team’s Video

Team’s Poster

Team: I

Project Title: Working with Library Boards/Trustees, Friends Groups, and Foundations

Host Unit: United for Libraries (1)

Team Members:

Hujma Chowdhury

Hannah Cook

Alicia Deal

Kelsey LaPort

Noel Reich

Member Guide: Lauren Trujillo, Santa Barbara Public Library Foundation, CA and Clare Membiela, Library Law Consultant, Library of Michigan

Staff Liaison: Jillian Wentworth, Marketing and Membership Manager, United for Libraries

Project Description:

Few MLIS/MLS programs provide education in library advocacy and best practices in how public library directors/staff work with library Trustees/boards, Friends groups, and/or Foundations. In addition, there is a lack of content regarding how public libraries are funded, and library fundraising. The team reviewed the current state of Master’s in Library Science/Master’s in Library Information Science (MLS/MLIS) education, surveyed current students’ and professionals’ interests and needs, and developed an assortment of tools to help fill the gap and teach professionals about what working with a library board means. The team worked to provide an outline for those who wish to teach about library boards on an academic level, as well as an asynchronous online course that can be explored by anyone within the profession.

Team’s Report

Team’s Video

Additional Materials

Get on Board ecourse

Get on Board Resource List

Get on Board Newsletter

Get on Board Lesson Plan

eCourse Flier

Team: J

Project Title: Library Advocates: Challenges and Best Practices

Host Unit: United for Libraries (2)

Team Members:

Kali Dallmier

Whit Gaines

Vidhya Jagannathan

Josie Schneider

Julia Wright

Member Guide: Maura Deedy, Library Advisory Specialist, Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners and Bryan Duran, Materials Manager, San Francisco Public Library, CA

Staff Liaison: Jillian Wentworth, Marketing and Membership Manager, United for Libraries

Project Description:

Library Trustees/Board Members, Friends groups, and Foundations have a key role in advocating for their libraries. Many state library associations (and in some cases state Trustee associations and state Friends groups) play a key role in providing these advocates what they need to be successful in federal, state, and/or local advocacy - many optimizing the ALA-provided advocacy platform.

The team conducted an environmental scan/SWOT analysis to determine best practices and challenges faced by state-wide library organizations in their efforts to engage library trustees/board members, friends’ groups, and foundations in successful federal, state, and/or local advocacy. The team offered recommendations to improve engagement.

Team’s Report

Team’s Video