Creating Data-Driven Professional Development Pathways for Public Library Staff

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The 2018 class of ALA Emerging Leaders was charged with identifying data competency training resources for the Public Library Association. It has become increasingly important for library professionals to be able to gather, analyze, and communicate data in order to navigate a data-rich world and make data-driven decisions related to funding, policies, and other resources needed to support the communities you serve. Learn how the website created by the Emerging Leaders serves as a professional development guide that can help move library staff toward becoming more data competent.

The American Library Association (ALA) Emerging Leaders program 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 structure, and have an opportunity to serve the profession in a leadership capacity. The 2018 Emerging Leaders project is supported by the Public Library Association and the Research Institute for Public Libraries.

Originally presented December 12, 2018.

Learning Outcomes

At the conclusion of this on-demand webinar, participants will:

  • Understand what it means to be data competent in five key areas, including data analysis, data planning and resource management, data storytelling and advocacy, principles and practices of communicating data to inform decisions, and research and evaluation methods;
  • Take advantage of resources and tools to assist them in building data skills and understanding; and,
  • Be able to share resources and tools with colleagues.

Additional Resources

Who Should Attend

This free on-demand webinar is intended for any library staff interested in becoming more data competent.


Crystal Chen is a Young Adult Librarian at the Woodstock Library branch of the New York Public Library (NYPL). She holds a BA in fine arts from Amherst College, an MFA in printmaking from SUNY New Paltz, and a MSLIS from Pratt Institute. She has served on NYPL’s Best Books for Teens Committee (2016 and 2017) and NYPL’s YA Advisory Committee (2018).

Tracy Drake is an archivist at the Chicago Public Library. She graduated from Eastern Illinois University with a BS in African American Studies, a MA in history from Roosevelt University and a MSLIS degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is also one of the founding board members for Project Back-Up foundation, an organization that helps community members preserve their family history. Outside of work she enjoys traveling, exploring new places in the city of Chicago, reading and hanging out with her favorite 9-year-old.

Aurelia Mandani (she/her/hers) is a systems administrator through Cherokee Nations Service Group at NOAA Boulder. Aurelia holds a BA in Political Science and International Studies, along with a MLIS from the University of Denver. She is also a Gates Millennium Scholar (cohort 2010), and is currently working on her PhD in CSIS (computer science and information systems) at the University of Colorado at Denver.

A.J. MuhammadA.J. Muhammad is a librarian in the Jean Blackwell Hutson Research and Reference Division of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture (NYPL).

Claire NickersonClaire Nickerson is the Learning Initiatives and Open Educational Resources librarian at Fort Hays State University. She provides research help and information literacy instruction and assists faculty in in implementing zero-cost course materials in the classroom. She also teaches introductory research and writing skills (and, soon, data literacy) to graduate students in the Masters of Liberal Studies program.



This on-demand webinar is free and available 24/7 for your viewing convenience.

How to Register

No registration is required.

Tech Requirements

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Credits or CEUs

PLA does not award credit hours, or CEUs, for its on-demand webinars and cannot verify participation.


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