Library Leadership Academy 2018 – 2019





The New Jersey State Library is pleased to announce the 2018 Leadership Academy, once again offering librarians the opportunity to think big and creatively about their libraries. This will be an eight part series and attendance at all sessions is mandatory. All sessions will be held at the Monmouth County Library, Headquarters Branch, Manalapan, NJ.

The program will include presentations by speakers on such varied topics as marketing and branding your library, emerging technologies for libraries and a hands-on training in how to perform a community needs assessment.

Outcomes:  Participants in the program will

  • 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         Free Library of Philadelphia – “Public Library’s Role in Civic Engagement”

Images from the Day


  • Siobhan Riordan, director of The Free Library of Philadelphia and her team of leaders provide inspirational and relevant presentations on how that library engages with the communities in Philadelphia. The topics included: Enrichment and Civic Engagement, Developing & Fundraising, Strategic Planning, Culinary Literacy, and Friends & Advocacy.


Tania Rios explains how the library provides space and support for challenged communities such as the Puerto Rican community after the devastation wrought by Hurricane Maria last year.


Liz Fitzgerald providing a presentation on the value of a kitchen within a library – “Cooking is a vehicle for learning
-science and math literacy
-historical and cultural literacy
-nutritional health literacy

Libraries are the heart of community just like the kitchen is the heart
of a home.

  • November 29, 2018     Phil Bowermaster – “Libraries, Acceleration, and the Reality Spectrum”

Images from the Day




With his signature wit and timing, Phil Bowermaster provides insight into issues which affect us all as we travel through life in an environment of accelerating change.





Phil’s program was presented in two parts: Part 1: Accelerating Times, and Part 2: Facing Reality. The presentation included break-out sessions where the attendees had the opportunity to discuss their thoughts and concerns about their libraries’ futures over such discussion questions of: ‘What new and emerging capabilities do libraries need most?’ ‘How have libraries served as a resource for post-scarcity up to now and how can they do so in the future?’, and ‘Should libraries focus on helping people to build a better reality?’

A big take-away from the workshop is that although the future is uncertain, we need to do our best to be ready for the next big developments. Another take-away is that we can look at scarcity and changes in the ways we’ve always done things and turn them around to become benefits/abundances. Change gives us opportunities to excel in a different way.

To track future trends, Phil recommends the following news sites: Boing Boing, Wall Street Journal, The World Transformed, Gizmodo, io9, The Speculist

The challenge for each of us going forward… will be to anticipate as best as possible what might happen, to work on shaping what we can in a positive way and to be nimble enough to change direction as the situation warrants.

The complete Power Point presentation can be found at:
Pleased be advised that this file is very large and may require additional IT support.

To view the handout materials click Acceleration Inventory

The introduction of an important theme: 

The future is unfolding at an ever accelerating pace which creates uncertainty. However, the world can change for the better if we give issues the attention they need.

                   Provocative images from the Power Point presentation

                  Group Discussion and Lunch at the Monmouth County Library 

  • December 17, 2018      Rakia Reynolds – “Fan of Your Brand”

Images from the Day

Rakia Reynolds bringing great speaking style and energy to her presentation.



Explaining “the blocks to build your brand.” Right.


Rakia helped guide the leaders through important steps in branding and storytelling in order to promote the librarians as well as the library. Helpful suggestions included remembering the Who? What? When? Where? and Whys? of your story. Who are you and what do you do?

Other expert advice: Add CRED in your ‘Elevator Pitch.’

  • C = Clarify & Communicate
  • R = Repetition – Repeat important words and phrases
  • E = Energize & Employ your Expertise – Cross promote
  • D = Distill – Extract information and concentrate your plan

Be sure to define your brand message before you begin marketing.
Don’t wing it!


Rachel Burt, Aaron Pickett, Keisha Miller and Catherine Folk-Pushee participate in a Brand Storytelling exercise.

Rakia entertaining questions with Peggy Cadigan. Mary Ellen Rogan, C.L. Quillen and Eric Schwarz. Far left.



Dale Colston with Rakia Reynolds



To access Rakia’s presentation click here.
To access the Elevator Pitch Worksheet click here.

  • December 17, 2018      Seth Turner – Congressional Management Foundation

Images from the Day


Seth Turner offers first-hand knowledge and advice on Library Advocacy with his presentation, ‘Communicating with your Legislator: What Works and What Doesn’t.’




People want to get engaged and involved. People are doing it all wrong.

Karin Finnegan participates in Key Storytelling Elements exercise.

To access Seth’s presentation click here Advocacy Training-Storytelling.

  • January 17, 2019      James Hughes – “An Era of Demographic and Technological Change”

Images from the Day



Dr Hughes provides his trademark wit along with
expert demographic data at 4th session of Leadership



New Jersey takes lead as state of wealth and diversity, and is considered quite strong with its transportation infrastructure




Technology plus millennials are causing a perfect storm


Danielle Haubrich with Christine Nemphos (Left),  Amy Atzert with Dr Hughes, and Elizabete Pata with Lynn Mazur

To access James Hughes’s presentation click here

  • January 17, 2019 and March 14, 2019      Kristin Fontichiaro – “Understanding Community Needs: Reaching Users and Non-Users”

Images from the Day


Kristin Fontichiaro begins her presentation on Understanding Community
Needs and shares helpful ideas on how to look at data. Be sure to review her favorite websites for gathering data in the Community Needs Workshop below.

Data is not a dictator. Data is a flashlight illuminating corners
you may not have seen.

Data Sharing exercise. Below


Participants sorting index cards during 
Kristin’s Environmental Scanning Activity. Left.

A focus group discusses LIS Education. Below.








Spring has come
to the Academy! A
welcome outdoor break.





  A casual moment: Kristin explains where Ann Arbor is located

To access Kristin’s Community Needs Workshop
click here




  • February 13, 2019        Catherine Hakala-Ausperk – “Politics & Partnerships”

Images from the Day

The academy welcomed Cathy Hakala-Ausperk, author, speaker, consultant and trainer, to the 5th session of the Library Leadership program. Presenting on the topic “Politics & Partnerships”, Cathy provided useful information and advice on how to work with staff and supervisors, and how to create and enhance partnerships.







Create a culture where change is not unusual

Group exercises below: Teams discuss possible solutions to hypothetical problems which are politically sensitive



Cathy’s recommended reading: 
Our Iceberg is Melting, by John Kotter and Holger Rathgeber


For Cathy’s handouts click here

  • April 11, 2019              Deborah Blackwell: Personality Types

Images from the Day

Deborah Blackwell providing an energetic and inspirational presentation on personality types to the Academy members at the Holmdel Library. Deborah proved to be a great motivator and challenged us to break out of our comfortable personality zones. Which ‘Bird’ are you?

People want awesome leaders. People want leaders they can follow.














Resource Materials from Deborah’s presentation:

  • April 11. 2019              Anthony Iovino, Architect. Tour of Holmdel Library

Images from the Day

Anthony Iovino, architect of the Holmdel Library at Bell Works, provides a fascinating presentation on state-of-the arts libraries. After detailing a brief history of libraries he explains some of the challenges in building a library in the confines of pre-defined spaces, such as the old industrial building of Bell Works. 

After the presentation, Anthony and the Library Director, Karen Nealis, lead the group on a tour of the library.

A consideration in building highly stylized spaces: Does it get too old too quickly?








To access Anthony’s presentation click here

  • May 9, 2019                Leadership Panel

Images from the Day

Graduation Day for Library Leadership Academy

Congratulations, Everyone  !!

Leslie Burger presented the compelling story of her development as a leader. Once the Executive Director of the Princeton Library, where she helped plan, design and secure the funding required for a new library that opened in 2004 (a library which has been awarded 4 stars from the Library Journal since 2008), she now works at Library Development Solutions, a company she helped found.


Leslie Burger’s Power Point presentation can be found here.

To access Leslie Burger’s handout materials click here.




Allen McGinley (R) offers his perspective on leadership and leaves some good food for thought with his presentation of what makes a good leader at the final leadership academy. Allen is currently Library Director at Teaneck Public Library in Bergen County.



The Leadership Panel, above:

  • Ralph McGinley, Library Director, Gloucester County Library
  • Linda Devlin, Library Director, Camden County Library
  • Irene Goldberg, Library Director, Monroe Township Public Library
  • Allen McGinley, Library Director, Teaneck Public Library
  • Will Porter, Library Director, Sussex County Library
  • Tonya Garcia, Long Branch Public Library
  • Moderator, Pat Tumulty, Executive Director of NJLA
  • Michele Stricker, Deputy State Librarian, New Jersey State Library

For more information about the speakers  click here.

Daily Schedule: 

  • 9:00 AM – 9:30 AM Coffee and Registration
  • 9:30 AM – 12:00 PM First Session
  • 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM Lunch and Networking
  • 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM Second Session
  • 3:00 PM – 3:30 PM – Reflections