Leadership Academy Road Trip to Holmdel

From left: Kristin Fontichiaro, Keisha Miller

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 nine-part series of classes the opportunity to think big and creatively about their libraries. The series, which was open to librarians with at least five years experience, included 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.

Catherine Hakala-Ausperk and discussion group


Sessions were held at the Monmouth County Library, Headquarters Branch, Manalapan. Beginning with Civic Engagement, classes included Future Trends with Phil Bowermaster; Branding & Advocacy with Rakia Reynolds and Seth Turner; two sessions on Understanding Community Needs with Kristin Fontichiaro; Demographics & Technological Change with James Hughes; and Politics and Partnerships with Catherine Hakala-Ausperk.

Session eight took place at the new Holmdel Library Branch of the Monmouth County Library in Bell Works. During the first part of the day, Deborah Blackwell discussed personality types. Based on a test taken before the session, attendees were placed into four different  “bird” personality profile groups, learning how to communicate within their groups, then in mixed groups. The purpose of the communication exercises was to show the different groups that, although it may be uncomfortable, everyone has the capacity to see things outside their personality type to arrive at a solution.

From left: Christine Nemphos, Deborah Blackwell, C.L. Quillen

After lunch Anthony Iovino, architect who designed the Holmdel Library, discussed the origins of the Bell Works reconstruction and library, and he and Karen Nealis, branch manager, gave a tour of the library.

Karen Nealis branch manager (right) discusses the Holmdel Library.


Participants will graduate from the Leadership Academy  at its final session on May 9.


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.