Alums Selected for “Innovative Librarians” Leadership Program

Eight alumni from the Kent State University School of Library and Information Science were selected to participate in ILEAD-OHIO 2015: Elizabeth Allen, M.L.I.S. '14, Bexley Public Library; Kristin Anderson, M.L.I.S. '05, Columbus Metropolitan Library; Cindy Boyden, M.L.I.S. '13, State Library of Ohio; Jillian Carney, M.L.I.S. '09, Ohio History Connection; Emily Glenn, M.L.I.S. '06, Association of College & University Housing Officers; Shannon Kupfer, M.L.I.S. '07, State Library of Ohio; Tamara Murray, M.L.I.S. '05, Westerville Public Library; and Gabriel Venditti, M.L.I.S. '10, Lorain County Community College-Bass Library

Innovative Librarians Explore, Apply and Discover (ILEAD) USA is a multi-state program to help librarians understand and respond to the needs of their respective communities. Each of three teams has five members from the participating states along with a mentor to assist the team over the nine-month period.

Evan Struble, a 2004 Kent State SLIS alumnus, served as the project manager. Struble said the teams learned about technology-based subjects and applied what they learned to develop their project.

“Participants in the ILEAD program cultivate new skills within themselves — both ‘soft’ skills, like communication, and ‘hard’ skills, such as learning a new technology—and strengthen their own burgeoning leadership skills already in place,” he said. “This allows the participants to really grow within the field of librarianship — whether at their current place of employment or beyond.”

Kent State SLIS alumna Cindy Boyden, a participant in ILEAD, said her classes at Kent State and her work experience in libraries have effectively prepared her for ILEAD, but she is looking forward to gaining technology experience.

“While I am confident with online searching, Integrated Library Systems (ILSs), Online Public Access Computers (OPACs), and the ilk, I’ve never created an actual piece of online technology for others to use. Simulations in grad school, yes, but nothing like this,” Boyden said.

Boyden feels the ILEAD program also presents an opportunity to create connections with other librarians across the state.

“Oftentimes, especially if you take online classes, networking is nearly impossible. This kind of experience provides us with a perfect opportunity, and the people in this year’s ILead class have varied strengths, experiences, years of service, and team objectives,” she added.

For ILEAD Ohio 2013, Struble said he served as an instructor to provide the attendees with a therapy-like session to calm them down after their participatory learning. 

“These sessions became affectionately known as ‘Evan’s Trust Circle.’ During each session, I would pull the entire group together to openly discuss a particular topic, such as failure or motivation, and what that might look like for each attendee,” Struble explained. “It was a great experience for me as well, as I got to hone my group facilitation skills. I’m looking forward to repeating these sessions again at the 2015 program.”

The Kent State University School of Library and Information Science was one of the sponsors for the program, along with the State Library of Ohio and the Institute of Museum and Library Services. ILEAD-Ohio began in March and concluded in October. 


Photo by Catherine Murray of Photo Kitchen

Front Row (seated, left to right): Jennifer Johnson, Jessica Crossfield-McIntosh, Julie Zaveloff

Middle Row (standing, left to right): Gillian Izor, Whitney Carr, Kirstin Krumsee, Laura Ponikvar, Anastasia Diamond-Ortiz

Back Row (standing, left to right): Susan Paul, Terry Metter, David Green, Derek Zoladz

POSTED: Friday, October 9, 2015 12:02 PM
UPDATED: Thursday, December 08, 2022 03:21 PM
Breyanna Tripp