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August 2002
Volume 34, No. 8

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Front Page

Library Leadership Institute
connects Wyoming libraries

The Library Leadership Institute (LLI) provides an opportunity for librarians and others associated with libraries to learn about leadership potential.

These acquired skills will be used to benefit their library, community and library association involvement. The program was developed because there was a recognized need to cultivate library leaders, which prompted the Wyoming State Library to seek funding for the institute.

Developing leaders

In early 2001, the Wyoming State Library (WSL) received a two-year McMurry Library Endowment grant to create a leadership institute with the goal of developing leaders within the library community.
Library Leadership Institute participants
Participants in the 2001 institute (standing left to right) Katie Jones, Debora Person, Valerie Roady, Mary Lou Bowles-Banks, Scott Kinney, Deb Adams, Pat Brose, Dale Collum, Jenny Ingram, Crystal Stratton, Richard Landreth, and Michelle DeSalvo; (seated) Frances Clymer, Bobbi Thorpe, Trish Palluck, Chris Van Burgh, Carolyn Groves-Winkler, Sue Knesel, Cynthia Twing, and Sukey Hohl.

Through a competitive application process, 16 individuals were selected for the first institute. Those attendees represented a cross section of employees including paraprofessionals, directors, support staff, library media specialists and special librarians. The speakers at the first institute were Jep Enck, of Enck Resources in Fort Collins, Colo., and John Kanengieter and Missy White from the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) in Lander.

Topics for the institute included a personality inventory, leadership skill building, team-building principles, communication skills, leadership and decision-making styles and conflict exploration.
Library Leadership Institute participants
Participants in the 2002 institute (row 3 left to right) Debbie Buchmeier, Roseanne Jellins, Marci Mock, Dale Collum, Kent Fiske, and Paul Pidde; (row 2) Marilyn Heiner, Tobi Liedes-Bell, Erin Kinney, Shelley Ramon, Michelle Maser, and Becky Hawkins; (row 1) Chris Van Burgh.

When asked about the experience, Valerie Roady, library media specialist for the Big Horn County School District commented, “There were lots of ideas and ways to “get us going. I am now much more visible and more vocal. I only wish I’d had it years ago.”

After the institute, the attendees received the opportunity to complete follow-up evaluations. These provided an opportunity to reflect back on their experiences from the institute.

Foundation for building

Cynthia Twing, Johnson County library director, said, “The first Library Leadership Institute was a benchmark for me personally and professionally. The foundation for building my own leadership skills was laid. I will be forever grateful for the encouragement and confidence the institute has inspired.”
Library Leadership Institute
Attendees of the institutes participate in activities led by speaker John Kanengieter.

Because the 2001 speakers were so well received, they were invited back for the 2002 institute.

The 2002 institute had 11 attendees. The focus for the institute was the same, but many of the activities were different.

Common challenges

Marci Mock, circulation manager at Sheridan County Fulmer Public Library, commented on the 2002 institute, “It was a great chance to gather with peers and to realize we all share common leadership challenges. It was also nice to have the variety of libraries and levels of leadership represented at the institute.”
Library Leadership Institute
Attendees of the institutes participate in activities led by speaker Jep Enck.

Dale Collum, Uinta County library director, attended the 2001 institute, and then received the opportunity to become a planner for the 2002 institute. He was able to see the similarities and differences between the two programs and after the 2002 institute said, “I enjoyed LLI again this year. The presenters were good for the second year, and I learned several things this year that were different from last year. Apart from the training, one of the great things is the opportunity to network and get to know people from other libraries. It will help us share ideas."

The institute is planned by the Education and Leadership subcommittee of the Resource Sharing Council and the Wyoming State Library.

The committee includes Chris Van Burgh, Bobbi Thorpe and Jerry Krois of the State Library, Crystal Stratton of the Laramie County Community College Library, and Frances Clymer of the McCracken Research Library. Keith Cottam, former director of the University of Wyoming Libraries was a planner for the 2001 institute, but was replaced in 2002 by Collum.

Third-year reunion

The Wyoming State Library is exploring the possibility of holding a third-year reunion to combine the participants from the 2001 and 2002 institutes. This group would formulate plans for a leadership and mentoring program in the Wyoming library community.

LLI planner, Chris Van Burgh is very hopeful for the program. She explained, "I think this is a great program, and it needs to be continued. We have brought together this group of interested and dedicated people. As a state we need to utilize their leadership skills, commitment and enthusiasm. It will be wonderful if we can continue the leadership institute, as it will bring more participants together, instruct leadership skills and foster a sense of community and confidence."

Look for more pictures of the 2001 and 2002 Institutes at http://will.state.wy.us/training/lstaleadership.html.


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