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ARL Leadership Fellows Program: Call for Applications, 2018–2019

2017-leadership-fellows-wordleThe Association of Research Libraries (ARL) invites applications and nominations for participation in the 2018–2019 ARL Leadership Fellows program, with a deadline of Monday, August 28, 2017. This executive leadership program facilitates the development of future senior-level leaders in large research libraries and archives. Since its inception in 2004, the program has involved 33 research libraries sponsoring 142 key staff in their development as an emerging cadre of senior leaders.

Candidates are welcomed from ARL and non-ARL institutions. Applicants from traditionally underrepresented groups are encouraged to apply.

Opportunity Scholarships

The Association will grant a limited number of full and partial opportunity scholarships to qualified applicants. The selection committee will choose recipients based on the applicants’ stated need for financial assistance and ability to enhance the diversity of backgrounds, roles, and/or perspectives within each year’s cohort.

Program Design

The Leadership Fellows program includes three five-day strategic institutes, several online synchronous sessions, and a customized immersive experience for each fellow to shadow a library director. In addition, the fellows will be invited to participate in the semiannual Association of Research Libraries Meetings over the 15-month duration of the program. The 2018–2019 strategic institutes will be hosted by the three sponsor institutions for this iteration of the program: The George Washington University, University of Florida, and The University of Iowa.

Program Goals

The ARL Leadership Fellows program goals are as follows:

  • Create a developmental and exploratory experience for senior library leaders.
  • Provide a structured learning opportunity during which senior library leaders build relationships and cultivate a network of community support that has an enduring impact on the participants, their institutions, and the research library community.
  • Develop learning opportunities with an explicit emphasis on the overall higher education environment and research ecosystem.
  • Support the development of aspiring library leaders into deans and directors who will participate as campus leaders.
  • Contribute to the development of the community of research libraries.
  • Advance the recruitment potential (size and quality of pool) and diversity of research library talent.


The ARL Leadership Fellows Program is designed for librarians with department-head or equivalent experience or higher. The successful candidate should have strong interest in pursuing a senior-level leadership role in a research library, regardless of type of library background or current setting, and demonstrate leadership qualities and potential for progressive thinking about the evolving roles of research libraries.

Six fellows will be selected from the three sponsor libraries. The additional fellows will be selected by a committee composed of members of the Leadership Fellows Advisory Group and former ARL leadership fellows.


Tuition for this 15-month program is: $10,500 per fellow from an ARL sponsoring institution; $11,500 per fellow from a non-sponsoring ARL library; and $12,000 per fellow from a non-ARL library.


Prospective candidates should submit application materials online by 11:59 p.m. EDT on Monday, August 28, 2017. Complete application instructions are available with the online application form on the ARL Leadership Fellows website.

For additional information, please contact Sue Baughman, sue@arl.org.

About the Association of Research Libraries

The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) is a nonprofit organization of 123 research libraries in the US and Canada. ARL’s mission is to influence the changing environment of scholarly communication and the public policies that affect research libraries and the diverse communities they serve. ARL pursues this mission by advancing the goals of its member research libraries, providing leadership in public and information policy to the scholarly and higher education communities, fostering the exchange of ideas and expertise, facilitating the emergence of new roles for research libraries, and shaping a future environment that leverages its interests with those of allied organizations. ARL is on the web at ARL.org.