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Association of Research Libraries (ARL®)

  Diversity Programs Contact:
Mark A. Puente
Leadership & Career Development Program (LCDP)

Program Design

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The ARL LCDP engages fellows in six major experiences over an 18-month period:

  • A two-day orientation to the LCDP the American Library Association (ALA) Midwinter Meeting (January 23-26, 2013, Seattle, WA)

  • Two four-day LCDP Institutes (exact dates and locations to be announced)

  • An ongoing relationship with a Career Coach and a personalized visit to the Career Coach's library

  • Training on identifying, developing, and conducting a research project related to one of the ARL strategic directions

  • Online facilitated discussions and webinars related to the ARL strategic directions

  • A Closing Ceremony, held during the ALA Annual Conference (tentatively scheduled for June 28, 2014, Las Vegas, NV)

The program methodology exposes the LCDP fellows to the major strategic priorities of 21st-century research libraries through formal presentations and dialogue with recognized leaders in the research library community. Site visits during the institutes bridge theory to practice, demonstrating how these concepts are approached in operations unique to the host institution for the event.

Exposure to research library leaders and key policy setters in ARL member libraries provides insight into the career options and opportunities for leadership in academic libraries in research-intensive organizations, and in professional organizations that serve these communities.

The LCDP fellowship experience builds a "community of learners" as the participants engage in meaningful dialogue with institute faculty and with each other over the course of the fellowship. Online communication and virtual learning events help to build and sustain a sense of community among LCDP participants. Relationships with career coaches aim to supplement these learning opportunities with broader discussions about strategic issues and relationships to the larger research organization.

Major Program Components

Each major program component is summarized below, illustrating how the various elements complement each other and build upon previous learning experiences.

ARL Leadership Institute

A two-day Leadership Institute, held during the ALA Midwinter Meeting, is the first opportunity for participants, coaches, and ARL staff—along with MLIS graduate students from the ARL Initiative to Recruit a Diverse Workforce and Career Enhancement Program—to meet in person. This institute is a time for participants to begin building the learning community and to begin dialogue about areas of professional interest. The meeting includes an overview of ARL’s strategic directions and some of the current issues in each of these arenas, a review of the LCDP goals and schedule, and an introduction to some key leadership and career development concepts. This is also the opportunity for participants to meet their career coaches and establish expectations about this professional relationship.

LCDP Institutes

The focus of the curriculum for the four-day LCDP Institutes is on current issues affecting research institutions and their libraries. The goal of each LCDP Institute is to increase awareness and understanding of the challenges presented by the changing environment of research institutions and how research libraries are affected by and respond to these challenges. In addition, through experientially based learning, the fellows explore leadership concepts and skills.

Career-Coaching Relationship

A participant’s relationship with their career coach is the thread that ties the LCDP pieces together. Coaches are recruited based on their interest and ability to commit time to the program's success; a willingness to interact electronically and in-person as needed with their designated fellow; and, possibly, compatibility between the participant's areas of professional interest and the coach's experience and expertise. A Career Coach for an LCDP fellow might be either an ARL library director or someone else from a member institution nominated by the director who would serve well in this capacity.

Personalized Visit to an ARL Library

LCDP Career Coaches host the fellows for a two- to three-day visit to their campus during the course of the fellowship. The agendas for the visits are crafted based on conversations between the Career Coaches and the LCDP fellows and aim to expose the participants to major operations and strategic priorities of the organization.

Research Project

The research project undertaken during the course of the fellowship is an integral component of the program. The scholarly research and communication process is an effective vehicle for raising the national profile of the program participants and serves as a mechanism by which the cohort of fellows gives back to the community that supports them through the program.

The LCDP curriculum includes training on identifying, developing, and executing a scholarly research project, as well as training on effective strategies for sharing the results with the research library community and contributing to the scholarly record. LCDP fellows will be expected to engage in meaningful research, either individually, or in groups, on a topic related to the major strategic issues of the Association.

Below is a list of potential topics for the research component of the program. The list is not comprehensive, but contains suggestions based on areas of activity for the Association.

  • New roles or services in research libraries (including new applications of technology)
  • Changes in the scholarly communication system
  • Space reconfiguration
  • Collaborative approaches to service delivery
  • New approaches to building or managing research collections
  • User studies or user experience analysis
  • Organizational culture
  • Leadership
  • Assessment of library activities

Online Learning Events

On occasion the LCDP fellows will participate in online facilitated discussions or webinars on topics related to current events in research and academic libraries or on one of the major strategic areas of ARL. Fellows may be given reading assignments or other pre-work to help enhance the learning experience and group discussions.