Leadership Academy Begins with Civic Engagement

From left: Mary Chute, NJ State Librarian, Peggy Cadigan, Deputy State Librarian, Kathleen Moeller Peiffer, Deputy State Librarian

The 2018-2019 edition of the New Jersey State Library sponsored Leadership Academy held its first session on Thursday, Oct. 18, offering librarians who registered for the eight-part series of classes the opportunity to think big and creatively about their libraries. All sessions are being held at the Monmouth County Library, Headquarters Branch, Manalapan. The series, which was open to librarians with at least five years experience, includes presentations by speakers on such varied topics as marketing and branding your library, emerging technologies for libraries, and a hands-on training on how to perform a community needs assessment.

Siobhan Riordan, director of the Free Library of Philadelphia

The topic for Day 1 was “civic engagement” presented by Siobhan Riordan, director of the Free Library of Philadelphia. She and her team discussed elements of The Public Library’s Role in Civic Engagement, covering units in strategic planning, development and fundraising, enrichment and civic engagement, culinary literacy, and friends and advocacy.

“Philadelphia is the largest, poorest city in the United States, with many illiterate,” said Riordan as she began her presentation. “So the Philadelphia Library has never been more relevant. When planning for your library, remain focused on the future, rather than the present. In Philadelphia, we had to adapt. It’s about the people we serve.”

Sara Moran followed with a unit on Strategic Planning, demonstrating the Philadelphia Library’s plan for 2018 – 2020. “Your strategic plan serves as a blueprint for what you want your library to be,” she advised.

During lunch, participants chose discussion group tables on a variety of topics.

See more photos.

The goal of the training is to have participants:

  • Return to their institution with greater self-awareness and self-confidence, equipped with better skills for leading, coaching, collaborating, and engaging within their organizations and in their communities.
  • Return to their communities as better leaders, prepared to identify, develop, and implement solutions which will benefit all stakeholders.
  • Have the opportunity to form a vibrant learning community and network, which is an essential element of effective leadership development.

Program Dates and Speakers:

  • October 18, 2018         Siobhan Riordan – “Public Library’s Role in Civic Engagement”
  • November 29, 2018     Phil Bowermaster – “Libraries, Acceleration, and the Reality Spectrum”
  • December 17, 2018      Rakia Reynolds – Branding and Marketing for Libraries
  • January 17, 2019          Kristin Fontichiaro – Community Needs Assessment
  • January 17, 2019          James Hughes – “An Era of Demographic and Technological Change”
  • February 13, 2019        Catherine Hakala-Ausperk – “Politics & Partnerships”
  • March 14, 2019            Kristin Fontichiaro – Community Needs Assessment
  • April 11, 2019              Topic: Personality Types
  • May 9, 2019                Topic to be determined by Participants




About Tiffany McClary

Tiffany McClary is the Director of Communications, Marketing & Outreach for the New Jersey State Library. She coordinates marketing and public relations initiatives in order to enhance the reputation of the State Library, and promote the value of NJ libraries and the services and programs that they provide to residents.