Alumni, Student Among the 2019 ALA Emerging Leaders


Five alumni and one student from the San José State University School of Information are among the 50 people selected by the American Library Association to participate in its Emerging Leaders Program in 2019.

Graduates Kalan Davis, Corey Hall, Adrienne Keane, Cari Didion and Derek Stalcup, and Master of Library and Information Science student Leslie Purdie will take part in project planning work groups, networking, learning about the inner workings of ALA, and will serve on various committees or groups upon completion.

During the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Seattle, participants will start the program with a day-long session that includes orientation and training. For the following six months, the cohort will continue with online learning with a culminating poster session to be presented at the ALA Annual Conference in Washington D.C.

Corey HallHall, who has had a varied career from college administrator to middle school teacher, and now, middle school librarian, is excited to be a part of Emerging Leaders.

“I have been looking at the program for a few years but wasn’t sure if I was quite ready. I am so looking forward to working with colleagues and ALA leadership to complete my project,” she said.

After starting as a student worker in a cataloging department and earning her undergraduate and graduate degrees while working full time at various libraries, Davis acquired her first professional position as a special collections metadata librarian at the University of Minnesota Libraries.

“I realized quickly that I need additional guidance and to acquire new skills to be successful on the continuous appointment track. It’s what led me to join the ALA Emerging Leader cohort,” she said.

Kalan DavisDavis felt “humbled, happy, and supported” by the former student workers, iSchool professors and library colleagues who reached out upon learning she was selected.

She’s looking forward to the specialized leadership training the cohort receives during the association’s midwinter meeting and annual conference with a long-term career goal of serving on the ALA Council.

“I am hoping that this library leadership training, networking, and overall experience will give me a broader understanding of the American Library Association and how better ready myself for a lifetime of service,” she said.

With a desire to work with underserved populations, Purdie sought a career in correctional librarianship, and now works at Folsom State Prison and Folsom’s Women’s Facility.

“My job involves facilitating access to the law library and developing rehabilitative programs for inmates in addition to more typical tasks, such as collection development and cataloging.”

Leslie PurdiePurdie was selected for the Emerging Leaders program before her expected graduation in fall 2019.

“I’m excited to have the opportunity to collaborate with peers who are passionate about the future of library services. My goal is to learn as much as possible and to develop my leadership skills,” she said.

Her previous career as an English language instructor for college-bound adults has shaped the way Keane has approached librarianship.

“I always try to make sure that our services are accessible to those who may be operating in a foreign language and culture,” she said.

As a community engagement librarian at Santa Clara County Library District, Keane brings preventative and mental health programs and resources to patrons. She’ll bring those leadership skills while learning new ones to the Emerging Leaders group project she’s already been assigned to, “International Peer Mentoring: A Pilot Project,” with ALA’s International Relations Round Table.

“I was thrilled to learn that I had been selected. I am really looking forward to meeting other [Emerging Leaders] and attending my first ALA conference. I hope to expand my professional network, gain ALA committee experience, and develop my leadership skills,” she said.

To learn more about the ALA Emerging Leaders and its selection criteria, visit the program’s web page.