New Mexico State Library

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Mountain Plains Library Association Leadership Institute

Submitted by Kathleen Dull, Adult Services Manager at Rio Rancho Public Library

The Mountain Plains Library Association’s Leadership Institute is a biennial event that draws library professionals from the twelve member states.  It meets at the beautiful YMCA of the Rockies outside of Estes Park, Colorado at the beginning of May.  The Institute runs for a week and brings together 30 individuals from all levels and types of libraries, along with four mentors and facilitator Maureen Sullivan.  This year, Chris Schipper, Library Director at San Juan College in Farmington, NM, and Kathleen Dull, Adult Services Manager at Rio Rancho Public Library, were selected to represent New Mexico.

There are a variety of subjects covered, including communication, leading change and transitions, teamwork and project management.  There are also topics focused on the individual, including assessing work and leadership styles, determining personal values, visions & missions and guidelines for leadership development.  All of these fall under the topic of leadership, which is addressed in a number of ways and from a variety of perspectives.

Prior to the Institute, there is a recommended reading list from Ms. Sullivan.  Complementing this is an extensive list of resources generated during the sessions.  Fellows, mentors and Ms. Sullivan contribute to the list, making for a rich bibliography that can be used long after the Institute has concluded.  In addition to the print and electronic resources, there is a Facebook page for each year’s cohort, so participants can stay in touch and share information, providing a community that spans vast geographic distances.

Kathleen would like to thank the New Mexico Library Association and New Mexico Library Foundation for the professional development grants which made attendance possible.  There are also grants and reduced Institute rates available from the Mountain Plains Library Association, but eligibility is contingent on two years of membership, so join today.

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