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ARL Academy

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Shaping and Informing Leadership

The ARL Academy is a crucial resource for advancing professional development for library leaders as partners in the research enterprise. The unified suite of programs empowers ARL libraries and archives staff with the tools necessary to meet the current and future needs of users. Offerings focus on leadership and skills development; diversity, equity, and inclusion; and the challenges of organizational change. 

Developing leaders and managers

Twenty-eight professionals from member and non-member libraries completed the ARL Leadership Fellows program in 2019. The program facilitates the development of future senior-level leaders in large research libraries and archives. The 2018–2019 program sponsors were George Washington University, University of Florida, and University of Iowa. Six former Leadership Fellows became ARL member representatives this year. 

Three hundred and forty-four library staff members participated in one of the nine Library Management Skills institutes that help develop their awareness, skills, and confidence as leaders and managers. The following member institutions hosted them: Indiana University Bloomington, Texas Tech University, UC Berkeley and UC Davis together, University of Miami, University of Rochester, University of Texas at Austin, USMAI Library Consortium (held two institutes), and Virginia Commonwealth University. 

Attaining new skills and competencies

The University of Rochester hosted an ARL Digital Scholarship Institute (DSI) that trained 30 library professionals and graduate students in core methodologies and tools. The DSI is a five-day, cohort-based opportunity for individuals who are new to digital scholarship. The training provides both a knowledge base and the confidence to work with the cultural changes sweeping through research libraries and higher education today.

The ARL Academy hosted two On the Edge webinars for member representatives and staff. Twenty-five people participated in the “Matrix Organizations” webinar that covered how matrix management is being used to implement changes in programs and services and create a vibrant organization where people are excited to work. This session was offered in partnership with George Washington University. Twenty-five people participated in the “From Safe Spaces to Brave Spaces” webinar that explored how public space in libraries might embody the principles of safe and brave space. This session was offered in partnership with University of Michigan. 

Looking ahead 

ARL established the 2020 ARL Academy focused on leadership of Data Science, Digital Transformation, Analytics, and Innovation. The Association also launched a research project on the changing roles of research library deans and directors in order to inform future programming.

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