For immediate release | June 26, 2012

PLA and partner ICMA receive IMLS grant to design leadership training model for librarians

CHICAGO — The Public Library Association (PLA), in partnership with the International City/County Management Association (ICMA), has been awarded a collaborative planning grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) to facilitate the development of a replicable leadership training model that assists public library administrators, senior managers and staff who want to increase their capacity to lead not only within the library, but also in the community.

The PLA Leadership Task Force, chaired by Carolyn Anthony, director of the Skokie (Ill.) Public Library and the PLA 2013-2014 president, will take the lead on designing a training model with the assistance of ICMA and Adam Goodman, director of the Center for Leadership, Northwestern University, Evanston, Ill. The training model will be designed to empower librarians with the skills necessary to be innovative and successful leaders of change.

Marcia Warner, PLA president and director of the Grand Rapids (Mich.) Public Library, said, “While library science degree programs offer a wealth of education, they typically focus on preparing students to be entry-level practitioners. Librarians rising to new positions and even those already at the top can benefit from the advanced education this leadership training will provide. Learning how to rise above day-to-day demands to lead within the library and the community is invaluable.”

The training model will take a groundbreaking focus on developing skills for leadership outside of the library, teaching participants how to work with municipal officials towards enhancing the position and activities of the library within the community.

Ron Carlee, chief operating officer for ICMA, noted that “Public librarians are also public administrators who require the skills of networking and community building to fully integrate their libraries into the building of great communities. ICMA is committed to working with the library community to makes its leaders as effective as possible.”

PLA will receive $45,145 from IMLS with $31,017 in cost share, for a total of $76,162 to put towards this initiative. The funding will allow for design and pilot testing of the training model as well as creation of an outcomes assessment tool to evaluate the effectiveness of the pilot training. “It is imperative that the final model not only be effective, but also replicable,” Anthony said. “One of our key goals is to extend the reach of the training, so it touches more people than single events or classes allow and has a mechanism to continually reinforce leadership concepts and skills. The grant will help develop a PLA leadership model that is all about partnerships and community collaboration.”

Grant activities begin in July 2012. For more information about plans for the leadership training model, please contact Barb Macikas, PLA executive director at

About the Public Library Association

PLA is a division of the American Library Association. PLA’s core purpose is to strengthen public libraries and their contribution to the communities they serve. Its mission is to enhance the development and effectiveness of public library staff and public library services. For more information about PLA, contact the PLA office at (800) 545-2433, ext. 5PLA, or visit PLA’s website at

About the International City/County Management Association

ICMA is the premier organization of professional local government leaders building sustainable communities to improve lives worldwide. ICMA provides member support; publications; data and information; peer and results-oriented assistance; and training and professional development to nearly 9,000 city, town, and county experts and other individuals and organizations throughout the world.

About the Institute of Museum and Library Services

The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. Through grant making, policy development, and research, IMLS helps communities and individuals thrive through broad public access to knowledge, cultural heritage, and lifelong learning.


Amy Sargent

Manager, Marketing

Public Library Association (PLA)

1-800-545-2433 ext.5024