Being selected is quite an honor. Charlotte Law Library News recently asked Tyler about her background and the Emerging Leaders program.
First, could we have some information about you? What is your background and how did you get to Charlotte School of Law?
I have lived in Charlotte for about 13 years. I am originally from Southern California. I graduated from The University of North Carolina at Charlotte cum laude in anthropology and Japanese. I have worked for the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library system in the past. I was very happy when I saw a position open with the Charlotte School of Law Library. I have worked for the law library as a circulation assistant since August 2012.
Please tell us about the Emerging Leaders (EL) Program?
I am also working full time on my Master of Library and Information Studies (MLIS) through The University of North Carolina at Greensboro. I heard about the Emerging Leaders program from the LIS department. Emerging Leaders is a career development initiative sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA). EL began in 2007 to address the need for grooming a new wave of ALA leaders. The program is aimed at providing LIS students and new professionals with leadership and networking opportunities. Emerging Leaders accomplishes its goals through collaborative projects.
How are Emerging Leaders chosen for the Program?
Applications are accepted annually from late spring until summer. Applicants must submit responses to five essay questions, reflecting the American Library Association values. For example, I was asked to describe my philosophy about effective leadership and how I would bring diversity to the Emerging Leaders program. Only fifty applicants are chosen for this opportunity and represent the ALA’s commitment to diversity in the field of librarianship.
What happens next?
Program participants will meet for the first time at the ALA Mid-Winter Conference in January 2014. Emerging Leaders will have the opportunity to review potential projects and rank the ones that interest them the most. Ultimately, Emerging Leaders are assigned to a project based on individual job skills, personal interests, and library type. The finished product of these collaborative efforts will be showcased at the annual ALA Conference in July (Las Vegas this year!). Each group will present the results of their projects, and write up a report of the project’s accomplishments. The Emerging Leaders program is a year-long engagement. Afterwards, Emerging Leaders are expected to join one of the various ALA committees for a 2-year commitment. I am particularly interested in the ACRL (Association of College & Research Libraries) and its associated Anthropology and Sociology Section (ANSS). I would love to work on long-distance collaborative social science based library projects! Since I am already a distance learning student and also completing an internship as an embedded librarian, I am very comfortable with long-distance collaborations.
Emerging Leaders are involved as a team in completing a project. What types of projects have been completed in the past?
I am very excited about the prospect of working with other new LIS professionals. It will be an amazing opportunity to become more familiar with the ALA organization and to provide direct input to current ALA leaders. Some of the projects that Emerging Leaders have worked on in the past have included video and library wiki creation. Other project teams have developed a “curricular design” for ACRL’s 101 program and presented success stories of the best practices from institutions that have received the “Grow Your Own @ Your Library Institutional Scholarship” program administered by the Public Library Association (PLA)
I am particularly interested in library ethnography and would love to design a case study project on student user behaviors in academic libraries.
What is the final result of the program?
The goals of the program are to provide new professionals and current LIS students the opportunity to gain confidence in their leadership skills, become familiar with the ALA organization, enhance their collaborative skills, and develop these skills with innovative uses of technology.
~Betty Thomas & Erica Tyler~