Emerging Leaders: The Class of 2015

Meet the library world's rising stars

April 21, 2015

Emerging Leaders Class of 2015

They’re the new faces greeting you at the reference desk, shelving books in the stacks, and experimenting with fresh ideas behind the scenes. These are the library world’s rising stars, the generation that will move, shape, and influence the present and future of the Association and the library profession. These are the American Library Association’s Emerging Leaders of 2015.

Initiated in 1997 as a one-year program under former ALA President Mary R. Somerville and revived in 2006 under former ALA President Leslie Burger, Emerging Leaders recognizes the best and brightest new leaders in our industry. It’s open to librarians under 35 years of age or those new to the library profession of any age with fewer than five years of experience working at a professional or paraprofessional level. The program allows participants to get on the fast track to ALA and professional leadership, participate in project-planning groups, network, gain an inside look into ALA structure, and serve the profession in a leadership capacity early in their careers.

At the 2015 Midwinter Meeting & Exhibits in Chicago, the 50 new Emerging Leaders were divided into 11 groups to complete a project for an ALA unit. The results will be unveiled at the 2015 ALA Annual Conference in San Francisco. American Libraries joined them in Chicago as they met their groups for the first time. We asked them what they think the future holds for MLIS programs.

Team A

HOST: American Association of School Librarians

PROJECT TITLE: Toolkit for Promoting School Library Programs

Team A. From left: Shannon Harris, Melissa Iamonico, Johana Orellana, Christina Cucci, Holly Van Puymbroeck
Team A. From left: Shannon Harris, Melissa Iamonico, Johana Orellana, Christina Cucci, Holly Van Puymbroeck

“I can see future MLIS programs experiencing an influx of candidates as this field blends communication, research, and technology. Future library science students will drive the digital evolution, keeping libraries on the front line.” —Christina Cucci

 

Team B

HOST: Asian Pacific American Librarians Association

PROJECT TITLE: Website Redesign

Team B. From left: Ximin Mi, Isabel Gonzalez-Smith, Xiaoyu Duan, Jennifer Nabzdyk
Team B. From left: Ximin Mi, Isabel Gonzalez-Smith, Xiaoyu Duan, Jennifer Nabzdyk

“MLIS programs will become more leadership (not just management) focused and technology oriented.” —Jennifer Nabzdyk

 

Team C

HOST: Association for Library Collections and Technical Services

PROJECT TITLE: Developing a Mentoring Framework

Team C. From left: Paolo Gujilde, Ivy Weir, Jamie Smith, Hannah Buckland, Jennifer Peters
Team C. From left: Paolo Gujilde, Ivy Weir, Jamie Smith, Hannah Buckland, Jennifer Peters

“MLIS programs are going to become much more about dealing with people, customer service, and finding unique ways to make the library space serve individuals as well as communities.” —Ivy Weir

 

Team D

HOST: Association for Library Service to Children

PROJECT TITLE: Modeling Value for Youth Library Services

Team D. From left: Anita Kinney, Tom Bober, Ella Mulford-Chinn, Karla Carillo, Stephanie Long
Team D. From left: Anita Kinney, Tom Bober, Ella Mulford-Chinn, Karla Carillo, Stephanie Long

“Things are changing. I earned my MLS online, and I see more programs going that direction. But I wonder if an MLS or MLIS will even be necessary in the future if the field continues to change at this rapid pace. I love change, so I’m open to one day offering people with a master’s in technology or related degrees ‘librarian’ positions. That’s a controversial opinion, but I think there’s much to learn from others.” —Stephanie Long

 

Team E

HOST: Government Documents Round Table

PROJECT TITLE: GICC Clearinghouse

Team E: From left: Amanda Ingalls, Melissa Ringle, Kimberly Trinh-Sy, Carmen Sanchez, Erwin Camia
Team E: From left: Amanda Ingalls, Melissa Ringle, Kimberly Trinh-Sy, Carmen Sanchez, Erwin Camia

“I believe online computer-based learning is the future of many education programs, including the MLIS.” —Amanda Ingalls

 

Team F

HOST: Office for Human Resource Development and Recruitment

PROJECT TITLE: Library Support Staff Web Project

Team F. From left: Valarie Kingsland, Rebecka Embry, Tiffany Chow
Team F. From left: Valarie Kingsland, Rebecka Embry, Tiffany Chow

“Technology is going to grow exponentially, and MLIS programs will adapt so libraries can continue to serve our communities. It should be an exciting ride!” —Tiffany Chow

 

Team G

HOST: Learning Round Table

PROJECT TITLE: Learn 101

Team G. From left: Derrick Jefferson, Alexandra Hauser, Bethany Tschaepe
Team G. From left: Derrick Jefferson, Alexandra Hauser, Bethany Tschaepe

“I’d like to see more focus on hands-on training as well as coursework and experience that ultimately creates effective information educators who can better teach and communicate with patrons.” —Alexandra Hauser

 

Team H

HOST: New Members Round Table

PROJECT TITLE: Endnotes

Team H. From left: Sarah LeMire, Peace Williamson, Beau Bradley, Stacey Nordlund, Nik Dragovic
Team H. From left: Sarah LeMire, Peace Williamson, Beau Bradley, Stacey Nordlund, Nik Dragovic

“MLIS degree programs should be looking into more practical and hands-on learning opportunities for their students, and letting them explore the various types of librarianship in which they might work.” —Beau Bradley

 

Team I

HOST: New Members Round Table

PROJECT TITLE: Footnotes

Team I. From left: Rachel Gammons, Amanda L. Goodman, John Mack Freeman, Alexandra Janvey, Cynthia Orozco
Team I. From left: Rachel Gammons, Amanda L. Goodman, John Mack Freeman, Alexandra Janvey, Cynthia Orozco

“MLIS programs should focus on the development of strong teaching skills. It doesn’t really matter what kind of library you work in; every time we interact with our patrons we are teaching our users how to be better information producers and consumers.” —Rachel Gammons

 

Team J

HOST: Public Library Association

PROJECT TITLE: Membership Engagement Review

Team J. From left: Amy Wisehart, Anna Coats, Karen Pietsch, Kaya Burgin, Sara Ahmed
Team J. From left: Amy Wisehart, Anna Coats, Karen Pietsch, Kaya Burgin, Sara Ahmed

“I see MLIS programs shifting more toward practical applications, like internships, and continuing to focus on skills graduates really need, especially technology skills. I wouldn’t be surprised to see more online-only MLIS programs cropping up.” —Amy Wisehart

 

Team K

HOST: Reference and User Services Association

PROJECT TITLE: Library As Publisher

Team K. From left: Angela Kent, Beth Boatright, Rebecca Marrall, Crystal Boyce, Sarah Espinosa
Team K. From left: Angela Kent, Beth Boatright, Rebecca Marrall, Crystal Boyce, Sarah Espinosa

“I see MLIS programs offering greater cross-disciplinary programming that reflects the leading role of library and information sciences within multiple disciplines and professions.” —Angela Kent