ALA Leadership Institute: Leading to the Future


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.

Learning Objectives:

  • 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

Application Information:

  • Due to the pandemic, the 2020 and 2021 Leadership Institute has been cancelled. There are plans to hold a 2022 Leadership Institute. Application information will be made available once the 2022 Leadership Institute has been finalized. For more information, please contact the ALA Division Core: Leadership, Infrastructure and Futures at

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.













        Photo: 2019 Leadership Institute Participants

        Click here to view participants from previous years.

        Click here to read participants testimonials.