Emerging Leader Report

As a proud participant of the 2013 ALA Emerging Leader Program I am working with my team to create adult learning tutorials. The project idea was created from the LIRT Committee. During the ALA Midwinter we met for a planning and training session that included meeting with member guides and staff liaisons. I am looking forward to transferring the skills learned for this project into other areas of my professional library work.

On Saturday, January 26th I attended the RUSA Board Meeting at Midwinter. The board members made me feel welcome at the committee meeting. That experience allowed me to observe and partake in group discussions. I am excited about working with committee members with an upcoming project.

I enjoyed attending other committee meetings such as LIRT. I also attended an informative meeting about the school media centers’ role in education. Most of the research came from Pennsylvania and Florida. The presentations highlighted the importance of having an effective school media program.

My final day at the conference started early with a sunrise program celebrating the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr. Jeanne Theoharis, a professor of political science at Brooklyn College of the City University of New York was the keynote speaker and she discussed the life of activist, Rosa Parks, from her new book The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks. Dr. Theoharis talked about Mrs. Parks’s advocacy for justice for African Americans prior to her political stance on the bus in the days of Jim Crow south. The Call-to-Action speech came from Dr. Sandra Hughes-Hassell, a professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s School of Information and Library Science. The professor urged the audience to work with male African American youth to help close the literacy achievement gap.

The finale was attending the Youth Media Awards and hearing the announcements of literary award winners. It was with great pleasure to see the committees who selected the books recognized also.

From my experience some of the themes of the conference felt to be about the growing need for advocacy for libraries, diversity, sustainability, and reaching out to disadvantaged youth. As a MLIS student I walked away feeling that much work is needed in the field of librarianship and I want to make a positive difference.

I must say that I am grateful for the RUSA sponsorship as I look forward to serving on the RUSA Committee. This experience has opened the door for new possibilities. I left the conference feeling energized and inspired about my chosen profession.

Alicia Finley
MLIS Graduate 2013
University of North Carolina at Greensboro