Six iSchool Graduates Selected for ALA’s 2022 Emerging Leaders Program
The American Library Association has announced its Class of Emerging Leaders for 2022. Six graduates of the Master of Library and Information Science program at the San José State University School of Information have been chosen for this prestigious title. They are Emily Aaronson, ’15 MLIS; Bryan Duran, ’18 MLIS; Lauren Hall, ’20 MLIS; Victoria Montes de Oca Perez, ’17 MLIS; Kristin Peers, ’16 MLIS; and Patricia Zeider, ’16 MLIS.
The Emerging Leaders program is “designed to enable library staff and information workers to participate in project planning work groups, network with peers, gain an inside look into ALA structure, and have an opportunity to serve the profession in a leadership capacity early in their careers,” according to the ALA website. The Emerging Leaders is a six-month program. This June, the class will showcase their projects at the ALA Annual Conference, which will be held in Washington D.C.
Public service is what pushed Duran to apply for the Emerging Leaders program. “So much of what we do in libraries is social; so, getting a chance to chat with team members, hear from more experienced librarians, and broaden your experience in this profession is a big takeaway,” Duran said.
Duran’s project was submitted from United for Libraries, a “national network of enthusiastic library supporters.” Their main goal is to advocate and fundraise for different types of libraries. The 2018 MLIS graduate’s project will be looking at “Building and Sustaining Diverse Boards for Library Trustees, Friends, and Foundations.” For Duran, the Emerging Leaders program is a “great opportunity to collaborate and learn from others in the field.” He also noted that being a part of the Class of 2022 will help strengthen his dedication to public service.
Hall feels “very honored” to be a part of the Class of 2022. “I am always looking to gain new knowledge, skills and abilities, and I feel that working on an Emerging Leaders project will allow me the opportunity to learn and to further expand my professional skill set,” Hall said. Leadership and team building are among the top skills Hall hopes to improve during the Emerging Leaders program.
Hall will work on redesigning the ALA Allied Professional Website as part of the program. “I am very excited to work on this project because I have enjoyed my past experiences with website design and usability. This project will also improve my technical knowledge and skills, which I can apply in my current career,” said Hall.
Peers cites the ALA Midwinter 2019 conference in Seattle as a “life-changing experience.” The networking and personal connections Peers made at that conference is what led to her seeking other professional opportunities, including the Emerging Leaders program. Collaboration with others is something Peers views as “exciting,” as she enjoys working with others. “New ideas can arise which can bring forth innovation, as I believe innovation is crucial to the continuing success of any organization,” Peers said.
Peers will also focus on developing leadership skills as a part of the Class of 2022. “I believe this program will provide me with the tools necessary to be, not just a leader, but an inspiring one,” she said.
In order to be chosen for the ALA Emerging Leaders program, applicants need to “be a new library professional of any age with fewer than five years of experience working at a professional or paraprofessional/support staff level.” Aaronson, Duran, Montes de Oca Perez, Peers and Zeider come from a public library background. Hall comes from an academic library background. A total of 49 professionals were chosen for the 2022 Class of Emerging Leaders.