ALA Emerging Leaders Update

Last year I wrote a few posts about the Emerging Leaders program in ALA and my frustration with the requirement that applicants hold an MLS. I am happy to say that I found out today that this requirement is being changed. The next round of the Emerging Leaders program will accept applications from library employees. Period.

I found this out in real time, as the vote was taking place, via Twitter. I can’t tell you how thrilled I was to hear the news. ALA and the Emerging Leaders Taskforce is making a huge step in the right direction by opening this program up.

Not only will this open doors for other library workers dedicated to the profession of libraries, but it sends a message that ALA is about libraries and the people who work in them–all the people.

About Lori Reed

Lori Reed, coauthor of Workplace Learning & Leadership: A Handbook for Library and Non-Profit Trainers, is a learning and communication strategist with more than twenty years experience in learning and development. A 2009 Library Journal Mover & Shaker and a 2010 "One to Watch" for paralibrarians, Lori graduated cum laude from East Carolina University with a Bachelor of Science in Communication. Lori is a certified Synchronous Learning Expert and a North Carolina Master Trainer and has traveled across North America speaking about libraries and training.


  1. Hey Lori,

    Great news, no? One clarification–it’s even more open then you say. It’s not even necessary to work in a library to apply. EL will also be accepting applications from students and librarians who are between jobs.

  2. Hi Lori, do you have any suggestions for a new trainer? I am a new supervisor to student workers at an academic library and would love some pointers from master trainers such as yourself! Do you maybe have some old blogs links that talk about something like that?

  3. managing students can be tricky, but my advice, treat them like adults, not like kids. and by this i mean, have them treat this like a real job. don’t let them get away with stuff just because they aren’t in the “real world” yet. there are times when your going to have to hold their hands, which is fine, but you don’t want them to not show up for work. I know at every library I’ve worked in we couldn’t run the library without students and we make sure they know that so that they know the amount of trust we placed in them.

  4. One way to approach the managing of students is to use the same policies and procedures used by your organization in managing all employees (and volunteers, if this applies). Clearly defining expectations is critical; a first-rate orientation session essential; and consistency in supervision (with encouragement and thanks delivered on a regular basis) part of a winning formula. Offering guidance when the students are not meeting the requirements of and expectations for their jobs helps avoid that awful moment when you actually have to let a problem employee go.

  5. You’re exactly right Paul. I think some of the most important things I’m learning are that encouragement and thanks are the two best tools I have. I used to work for Marriott and I’m trying to apply many of the principles I learned there to training and supervising my students. I love the suggestion about treating them like adults, and not kids. I completely agree Andrew! I like to give them the benefit of the doubt that they CAN do something correctly before I assume that they are just children and can’t do anything more than one task at a time. I’m glad I was treated like that while I was in college, so I want to pass it on. Thank you for all the suggestions!!

  6. set up scenarios that your students might encounter and ask them to practice. kind of like practicing the reference interview. So figure out some common scenarios – checking out a book, looking up a fine – and have two students do some role playing. One plays the impatient student who is protesting his fine (that should be fun!!) and the other plays the poor student trying to figure out what’s going on.

    hope that helps!


  1. […] I am a new supervisor to student workers at an academic library and would love some pointers. FriendFeed posting: about the question: Suggested from a FF post by Lori […]

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