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SLIS Graduates Selected for Emerging Leaders Program

Posted Sep. 20, 2011

 

By Nicole Gennarelli
Graduates of Kent State’s School of Library and Information Science (SLIS), Sara Kelley-Mudie, M.L.I.S. ’07, and Erica Blasdel, M.L.I.S. ’07, were selected to participate in the 2011 American Library Association’s Emerging Leaders program.

According to the ALA’s website “The American Library Association (ALA) Emerging Leaders (EL) program is a leadership development program which enables newer library workers from across the country to participate in problem-solving work groups, network with peers, gain an inside look into ALA structure, and have an opportunity to serve the profession in a leadership capacity. It puts participants on the fast track to ALA committee volunteerism as well as other professional library-related organizations.”

The program begins with a daylong session during the organization’s midwinter meeting. After the meeting, it turns into an online learning environment for the next six months. The program ends with a poster session at the ALA Annual Conference, where both women presented the results of their group projects.

Erica Blasdel“As part of the program, you are divided into groups that work on special projects sponsored by ALA divisions or roundtables,” Blasdel said. “I was sponsored by Ohio Library Council, and my project is sponsored by the Public Library Association. We're helping with the 2012 PLA conference in Philadelphia, Pa., and presenting a program there on generational differences in library staff, as well as assisting with other programs as necessary. My group did a survey using Google Docs about the generational climate in libraries, which is part of the research we're doing for our PLA program.

Sara Kelley-MudieKelley-Mudie’s group was given the task of creating promotional materials for the American Association of School Librarians (AASL). The group also created a survey using Google Docs in order to ask librarians how they empower students to think, share, create and grow. The survey results provided the information needed for the team to create promotional media. 

“I was sponsored by American Association of School Librarians and worked with a group of four other librarians- three school librarians and one children's librarian,” Kelley-Mudie said. “We met in person at the ALA midwinter conference in January, and continued our work online with regular meetings via Skype over the next six months. We met again in June to present our project.”

Currently, Blasdel works at the Columbus Metropolitan Library as a team leader for information services. Kelley-Mudie is starting her fifth year as a librarian at The Forman School, an independent college preparatory high school for students with dyslexia, ADHD, and learning differences, in Litchfield, Conn. Blasdel attended the Columbus location of SLIS, while Kelley-Mudie attended in Kent.

“Originally, I was interested in academic librarianship,” Blasdel said. “However, after getting a circulation job at the Columbus Metropolitan Library shortly after I started library school, I fell in love with public libraries. I'm now interested in adult literacy, reference service and instruction/training. Eventually, I would like to work in library administration. I also want to continue my involvement in ALA and with the Ohio Library Council throughout my career.”

Kelley-Mudie’s interest has always been working in education, and being a school librarian provides her with an opportunity to work with every student in a school.

“I love being able to work one-on-one with students, as well as collaborate with teachers in all different subjects,” she said. “School librarians are a vibrant, giving community of learners; I love having the opportunity to learn from colleagues all over the country.”