Public libraries are at an important crossroads in their evolution. While libraries have long mastered the introduction of new formats and have become quite adept at integrating technology, the issues of the day call for a reinvention of what a library is understood to be. It is crucial that the library’s stakeholders, especially municipal councils and members of the community, come to understand the value and benefits produced by the library. I would argue it’s not so much that our core mission needs to change as it is a matter of ensuring the mission is well understood and endorsed. We need our funders to believe in the importance of what we do. We have always helped people learn, grow and express themselves creatively, but now more than ever before, the ability to learn and grow and be creative is required by an in increasingly creative economy. And we need our communities and funders to understand the role we play in building a robust and creative workforce and society.
This work of reinventing our public image is work that belongs to library leaders. As a sector we need to ensure we have leaders capable of building credibility and value in the municipal environment. We need leaders capable of ensuring the library is well connected and engaging the community. We need leaders committed to continuous improvement and service innovation.
The APLL Institute is a leadership development program of the southern Ontario Library Service. It’s a two year certificate program that combines the flexibility of online learning with highly interactive classroom sessions. The APLL Institute develops leaders capable of leading our libraries into a successful and thriving future.
The next cycle of APLL begins in the fall of 2016, with registration beginning in July. The fee of $3600 covers meals and accommodations for the classroom sessions expert presenters and 12 online courses. For more information see the APLL Institute or email Anne Marie Madziak.
It is our commitment to leadership development that will ensure a viable and vibrant future for our libraries.