Federal Librarian Summer 2010

Emerging Leaders Program 2010

The Emerging Leaders Program began in 2007 as part of an initiative of then ALA President Leslie Burger. The program’s goal is to enable librarians new to the field to network with peers, collaborate on project initiatives, and gain insight into the infrastructure of ALA. The aim is to put librarians on the ALA fast track and cultivate future leaders.

One hundred librarians from around the country are chosen for this leadership program. I had applied for the EL Program while still in graduate school at Valdosta State University, May 2009. I received my acceptance letter in October 2009, which outlined the program details and requirements. Participants were then able to go online and complete a survey regarding topics of interest and possible Emerging Leader Projects. There were twenty interesting projects to choose from and ten numerical points to be allocated to each project of interest. I chose five projects of interest and allocated two points each. I was glad when I found out I had been grouped with four other Emerging Leaders, working on a project for CALM Committee on Archives, Libraries, and Museums. My background is in Fine Arts, and Art History, so I have a natural affinity towards Museums, Archives, and Libraries. I also comprehend the collaborative nature of these professions, and how shared resources could benefit all organizations. My group will create and disseminate a podcast for CALM, relating to the electronic convergence of archival, library, and museum content. We will investigate software applications, hosting requirements, a list of speakers and topics, and ultimately present our inaugural podcast during the ALA Emerging Leaders Poster Session, Friday June 25, 2010 in DC.

Emerging Leaders (EL) are chosen by candidate application statements, letters of recommendation, and resumes. The selection committee aims for a diverse group of individuals across the board: gender, ethnicity, library type, and proximity. Maureen Sullivan, Beatrice Calvin, Connie Paul, and Peter Bromberg are currently heading the program.

Participants were required to meet at both the Mid Winter Conference (Boston, January 2010), and the ALA Annual (DC, June 2010). Trying to orchestrate one hundred participants could be a logistics nightmare, so early on it was decided participation would be necessary at both events.

We are excited to be interviewing former librarian and newly appointed United States Archivist David Ferriero for our inaugural podcast. We are very enthusiastic about our project and looking forward to our presentation.

All of the Emerging Leaders have been able to converse via ALA Connect, Facebook groups, Twitter, and other social networking applications. My group has been meeting approximately one hour weekly via Skype. The virtual process of collaboration, task management, and problem solving has taught me much about interpersonal relationships, time management, and leadership roles. I have met many great people and made many new friends that I would not have otherwise. I feel honored to have been chosen for the program and grateful for the opportunity.

While in DC, I will be staying in a dorm like, reality TV setting of fellow Emerging Leaders. We have dubbed our group the 2010 Think Tank: six men, six women, four apartments, much collaboration and innovation. We hope to explore library issues like advocacy, film our conference highlights and opinions via flip top cameras, and hopefully facilitate change while building lasting friendships.

Please come out and support all of the Emerging Leaders by attending the Poster Session on Friday, June 25th in DC! I hope to see you there.

Submitted by Ken Kozel

Ken Kozel is an ALA FAFLRT member, 2009 graduate of the Valdosta State University MLIS Program, and currently working as Director of the Randolph County Public Library. He is busy applying to doctoral programs, and hopes to eventually procure an appointment within an innovative federal organization.

Back to Contents