The Learning Round Table (formerly CLENERT)* is excited to be sponsoring our first ALA Emerging Leader!

We’re looking for enthusiastic applicants who have an interest and/or experience in

  • staff training
  • staff development; and/or
  • continuing education of library staff

The 2010 Emerging Leader selected by the Learning Round Table (LearnRT) will be someone who desires to learn more about more about the ALA Learning Round Table, who is willing to work on a project related to continued learning; who will be engaged in the work of the round table and who will be an ambassador for the Learning Round Table. In turn, the Learning Round Table will provide $1000 towards ALA Midwinter and Annual conference expenses for the person selected.

Applicants must meet the general Emerging Leader criteria set forth by ALA as well as criteria set forth by the Learning Round Table:

  1. Be under 35 years of age or be a new library professional of any age with fewer than 5 years of experience working at a professional or paraprofessional level in a library;
  2. Be able to attend both ALA conferences and work virtually in-between each conference;
  3. Be willing to commit to membership in both ALA and the Learning Round Table if accepted; and
  4. Be prepared to commit to serving in ALA or your state or local professional library organization upon completion of the program.

Upon review of the applications and resumes, the Board of the Learning Round Table will select one Emerging Leader to sponsor.

If interested, please submit the Learning Round Table Emerging Leader Application no later than August 15, 2009. In addition, email your resume to . Applicants will be notified on or near September 1, 2009.

Note: Applicants may complete both the Learning Round Table Emerging Leader Application and the ALA Emerging Leader Application, if desired. The Learning Round Table will select an Emerging Leader from our own pool of applicants. ALA will select a larger number of applicants.

Please contact me at with any questions. This message is being sent to all CLENE Listserv members today. Tomorrow it will go out to all CLENERT/LearnRT members as well.

Thank you for your continued support!


Pat Carterette, LearnRT President

*Yes, we have a new name! We’re now the Learning Round Table (aka LearnRT). For the time being, you will continue to see CLENE in various places online. It will take awhile to get everything changed, including a logo and other design templates. Our new website is up and running but currently under construction. We are also still using our original website So, pardon our dust while we get our “house” in order. And stay tuned for some very exciting developments with the Learning Round Table.



    Looks as if we have a little revolution on our hands, and it’s centered on the issue of access—or the lack thereof—to training opportunities for potential library leaders.


    It started late last week when Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County Training Specialist Lori Reed posted an article on her personal Library Trainer blog to explain why she would not renew her ALA membership next year: to protest the exclusion of library Support Staff from the American Library Association’s Emerging Leaders program.


    Lori writes of the excitement she felt when she first read that the program is “designed to enable more than 100 new librarians to get on the fast track to ALA and professional leadership,” then felt the wind being taken out of her sails when she realized that she, as someone without an MLS degree, could not apply to participate in this wonderful opportunity being offered by an organization which she supports through membership fees.


    “So ALA will happily take the money from library support staff…for membership but does not allow those same members to apply for leadership opportunities within ALA as this one…No thank you.”


    A few responses—including mine, meant to encourage her to work within ALA to change the situation rather than leave and give up hope for opening the doors to more opportunity for non-librarians within ALA—trickled in over the weekend. And then the number of responses doubled and included thoughtful pieces in support of Lori’s dissatisfaction from two treasured associates whom I have known since we first met through Infopeople: Pat Wagner and Sarah Houghton-Jan.


    Pat suggests that “a goodly number of libraries in small communities are run by people without masters’ degrees” and says she has been involved in “a number of library leadership programs that were open to everyone, and the quality of participants remained very high.”


    Sarah takes this a step further with a posting on her Librarian In Black site today in addition to what she wrote in her “Library Trainer” posting, assures her readers that “I agree with Lori wholeheartedly,” and calls for ALA to “pay them (members of library Support Staff) the respect they deserve.”


    Lori, encouraged by the responses, produced a follow-up post this evening as I was editing this article. Perhaps the rest of us who so passionately support training opportunities for the widest possible audience can support her and our colleagues by trying to gain the attention of those who are already involved in the program and might be willing to expand the definition of—and playing field for—prospective library leaders today.