Emerging Leaders Project Proposal Submission Guidelines

This page gives the guidelines that should be followed when submitting a project proposal form.

Submission Deadline is October 1 each year.

Project Description

Please provide a description that details the purpose and scope of this project. You should provide as much information as possible. Be complete and thorough, as this may determine if your project is selected by the Emerging Leader participants. Keep in mind that the project will be implemented by a small group (3-5) of Emerging Leaders. We encourage units to identify a project that will have the following elements:

  • Have value for the hosting unit; We prefer not to have projects that amount to “busy work” for the teams.

  • Engage the interests of the Emerging Leaders project teams

  • Be doable in the allotted time frame (January – June); If necessary, the project can be completed in phases across multiple years and/or classes of Emerging Leader participants. If this is such a project, please indicate this intent.

  • Managed through a virtual experience in which the Emerging Leaders project team will work; This will involve participants communicating in various formats (i.e. via ALA Connect, telephone, email, Skype, etc.) in order to complete the project together. There will be minimal face-to-face interaction between the participants.

  • Allow creativity by the teams; You may give parameters, but structure the project in such a way that the team members will be able to use creative/innovative ideas and solutions.

To view descriptions of previous year’s projects, visit the Emerging Leaders website. They are linked at the bottom of the page.


There is no cost to submit project proposals. However, if your project is selected as one that will be worked on by an Emerging Leader team, you (your organization) will be expected to cover the cost of producing materials for the poster session which is held on Friday during the ALA Annual Conference. Costs will not exceed one hundred dollars ($100) per project.

Supporting Your Project Team: Key Contacts

The success of project teams highly correlates with the amount of support and communication they receive from their host unit. Each project team must have a member guide and an ALA staff liaison. If you don't know who your staff liaison is, contact the Emerging Leaders Project Manager, Beatrice Calvin.

Member Guide

The member guide has the following responsibilities:

  • The member guide should be familiar with the project requirements and be vested in its success.

  • The member guide serves as a source of support for the project team. If he/she sees that the team is going in a direction that is completely opposite of the intended project goals, he/she should discuss this with the team immediately.

  • The member guide acts as a resource person for the team. If the team needs information about the unit that will facilitate the work of the team, the member guide is expected to connect the team with the needed information.

  • The member guide is expected to monitor the team’s progress. He/she should maintain regular communication with the designated liaison from the team. If the team has any questions, this is the person the team will ask for clarification. He/she will also be included as a member of the team’s ALA Connect community in order to respond to questions as they arise. The member guide will have regular access to virtual communication in working with the team.

  • If the primary member guide cannot complete his/her role before the end of the program, another member who has a stake in the success of the project, and who can explain and discuss the project in detail must be designated by the unit.

  • The member guide is required to attend a working luncheon session on Friday of the ALA LibLearn X Meeting in January. In the event that the primary member guide is unable to attend this meeting, an alternate MUST be designated. Each project team must have a member who has a stake in the success of the project, and who can explain and discuss the project in detail attend this working luncheon.

ALA Staff Liaison

The staff liaison must be an employee of ALA. He/she has the following responsibilities:

  • The staff liaison ensures that the project has clear direction and support and works with the team and the member guide to ensure that the project team understands the project requirements.

  • The staff liaison also serves as the primary resource on ALA policy questions and provides resources to the project team as needed.

  • If the team has problems connecting with the member guide, it is the responsibility of the staff liaison to assist the team in facilitating communication. If necessary, the staff liaison may designate a substitute member guide (with permission from the unit’s director/president).

  • The staff liaison should notify the Emerging Leader program coordinator if there are any problems with the project team, the member guide, or any issues that requires attention.

  • The staff liaison will also be included as a member of the team’s ALA Connect community in order to monitor progress and respond to questions as they arise

Next Steps:

Each Emerging Leader participant will have an option of selecting which projects they want to work on. Each participant will be placed on a team based on his/her preferences.

NOTE: If there are not at least three (3) people willing to work on any given project, it will not be assigned.

Each group that submits a project proposal form will be notified about selection/non-selection in November.

All questions can be sent to the Emerging Leaders Coordinators.

Thank you for working with the ALA Emerging Leaders program and helping to make it a success!

Now that you have reviewed the guidelines, you may complete the online Project Proposal Form.

The deadline for all submissions is October 1 each year.