For immediate release | December 5, 2017

PLA continues support of Emerging Leaders program through sponsorship of 2018 participants

CHICAGO -- The Public Library Association (PLA), a long-time supporter of the American Library Association's Emerging Leaders (EL) program, will sponsor the participation of two library professionals in the 2018 EL class. EL is a leadership development program which enables newer library workers from across the country to participate in problem-solving work groups, network with peers, gain an inside look into ALA's structure, and have an opportunity to serve the profession in a leadership capacity.

On Dec. 1, ALA announced the 50 people selected to participate in its 2018 EL class. PLA provided funding to sponsor two participants, Tracy Drake, an archival specialist with the Chicago Public Library and Aurelia Mandani, formerly an intercultural librarian with Arapahoe Libraries in Denver, who now works at the library of the U.S. Department of Commerce's Boulder (Colo.) Labs. The complete list of the selected participants (PDF) and additional program details can be found on the Emerging Leaders webpage.

The Emerging Leaders program kicks off with a day-long session during the ALA 2018 Midwinter Meeting in Denver, Colo. Following the kickoff session which includes orientation and training, the program will continue in an online learning and networking environment for six months. The program culminates with a poster session where the 2018 Emerging Leaders will showcase the results of their project planning work during the ALA 2018 Annual Conference in New Orleans.

As part of their experience, Emerging Leader teams have also completed projects that advanced PLA’s programs and helped PLA provide better member service. Over the last few years, teams have helped with member engagement, resources for members, diversity, and helping prepare students for public library work after their master’s programs (see project list below).

  • PLA Membership Engagement: Review and Idea Generation (2015)
  • PLA Online "Professional Tools" Creation and Future Forecasting (2016)
  • Assessing MLIS Preparation for Emerging Public Library Leaders (2016)
  • Advancing Diversity in Public Libraries (2017)
  • More Than Your MLIS: Experience and continuing education recommendations for public library leaders (2017)

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About PLA

The Public Library Association (PLA) is the largest association dedicated to supporting the unique and evolving needs of public library professionals. Founded in 1944, PLA serves nearly 9,000 members in public libraries large and small in communities across the United States and Canada, with a growing presence around the world. PLA strives to help its members shape the essential institution of public libraries by serving as an indispensable ally for public library leaders. For more information about PLA, contact the PLA office at 1 (800) 545-2433, ext.5PLA, or

Related Links

2018 Emerging Leaders

Emerging Leaders Webpage


Laurence Deutsch

Manager, Communications

Public Library Association (PLA)