Librarianship is ever changing, and some of the people leading that change are newer members of the profession. They’re the fresh faces greeting patrons at reference desks, helping students with research, and experimenting with new ideas behind the scenes. These are the American Library Association’s (ALA) Emerging Leaders.
Launched in 1997 as a one-year program under former ALA President Mary R. Somerville and revived in 2006 under former ALA President Leslie Burger, Emerging Leaders recognizes the best and brightest new leaders in our profession. It’s open to librarians of any age who are new to the profession and who have fewer than five years of experience working at a professional or paraprofessional level.
The program allows participants to get on the fast track at the Association, participate in planning groups, network, gain an inside look into ALA structure, and serve in a leadership capacity early in their careers.
At the 2020 Midwinter Meeting & Exhibits in Philadelphia, the new Emerging Leaders were divided into eight groups to complete projects for their host ALA units and affiliates. We joined them in Philadelphia to ask what the future holds for the profession.
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