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Host Site Institutions: ARL Leadership Fellows Program


The ARL Leadership Fellows program is ARL’s flagship executive leadership development program. Integral to the program are three daylong institutes that bring together fellows and practicing library leaders around the theme of moving leadership learning into practice. Two of these institutes are hosted by ARL member institutions. Hosting an institute provides the institution’s staff an unparalleled opportunity to engage with an extraordinarily diverse and talented group of emerging library leaders during a multiday visit. Past host institutions have benefitted from a unique, external perspective on their institution’s culture and practice, and developed a better understanding of themselves while offering guidance and instruction to rising leaders in the profession. 

The ARL Leadership Fellows Task Force will select two ARL institutions as host sites for the 2021–2022 institutes. ARL seeks institutions that can create a well-rounded experience for fellows by providing learning opportunities from successes and innovations, but also from challenges and problems, which all research libraries and archives experience.

While ARL has every expectation that the 2021–2022 institutes will be in-person events held in 2022, the program will be prepared with a hybrid or virtual model if that is needed.

Institute One: Site Visit

The site visit brings ARL Leadership Fellows to a host institution that will immerse fellows into the workings of leadership at a research institution. The site visit will:

  • Provide an opportunity for the fellows to come together as a cohort at a host institution site, for a full day, and experience a combination of senior institutional leadership (president, provost, etc.), host institution leaders, building/site tours, and formal and informal interactions with affiliated researchers, faculty, staff, fellows or visiting scholars, students, and library users
  • Allow fellows to observe and experience a peer environment’s research and teaching environment
  • Encourage fellows to engage with and learn from a host institution’s respective leaders and functional heads across the foundational competency areas
  • Help fellows analyze how one institution demonstrates the leadership competencies explored by the cohort during the program

Institute Two: Fellows Conference

The fellows conference brings together fellows with eight senior administrators or unit heads from across the ARL membership and the profession whose work aligns with and exemplifies the competency areas covered by the program. The conference will:

  • Provide an opportunity for the fellows to participate together in a full day of interaction with thought leaders from across the profession 
  • Enable fellows to engage with and learn from respective senior leaders and functional heads across the foundational competency areas, who each represent different (and diverse) institutions
  • Strengthen cohort mastery of competency areas through presentation and discussion of applied strategy and planning
  • Allow fellows to analyze how senior leaders, from differing institutions, demonstrate their respective competencies
  • Expose fellows to a diversity of leadership styles, approaches, and results from eight institutions

During the conference, fellows will participate in tours of the host site library and the institution as a whole to observe a competitive/alternative environment and compare and contrast from their own context. The fellows will conclude their conference with a networking reception for fellows and participants that provides fellows an opportunity to ask further questions and establish lasting relationships.

Roles and Responsibilities of Host Site Directors

The host site director will ensure that the host site visit supports the curriculum and learning experience of the fellows. Working with the program director, the host site will:

  • Identify elements in the curriculum that will most benefit the fellows’ cohort during a host site visit, based on the director’s library/archive and institutional strengths, the institution’s senior leadership expertise, and institution-specific context 
  • Align senior leadership expertise and host site experience with the cohort needs and the goals of the host site visit 

The host site director also will:

  • Commit staff time, senior leadership expertise, physical space (as appropriate), and operational resources (as needed) to the host site visit
  • Ensure that all activities and engagements at the host institution adhere to ARL’s Code of Conduct
  • Participate in a post-institute review to identify highlights, benefits, and how to improve future host site visits

Leadership Fellows from Host Site Institutions

Participation by an ARL Leadership Fellow from a host site institution may particularly benefit both the fellow and the institution during a host site institution experience. For that reason, host sites may wish to nominate a candidate for the program.

  1. Host sites may nominate one fellow to participate in the program. The nominated fellow will be vetted through the Leadership Fellows selection process along with other fellows applicants.
  2. Host sites will provide tuition for host site fellows at a rate to be determined but not exceeding $7,000 for ARL members and $8,600 for non-ARL members for the 12-month program. This will be invoiced by ARL twice during the program cycle unless otherwise requested.

Application Process for Host Site Institutions

The host site application process for the ARL Leadership Fellows program is now closed. Host sites will be notified of their acceptance no later than July 8.