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NT library director chosen for leadership program

Thu, Jul 2nd 2015 06:00 pm

In August, 40 librarians from throughout the United States will gather for an immersive leadership development program for future library leaders -- and one of them will be from North Tonawanda.

Britt White, director of the North Tonawanda Public Library, is one of the 40 chosen from a competitive national pool to participate in Leading to the Future, a four-day program offered by the American Library Association. The program will take place in Itasca, Ill.

White, who has served as director of the library since August 2013, said that she's excited about the opportunity.

"I think whenever a group of people who come from similar employment backgrounds come together, it's always nice," she said, adding that she's looking forward to the chance to "sit, discuss, digest ideas and let them grow."

According to the ALA, the selection committee looked for a diverse participant mix based on type of library, professional responsibility, geography, gender and race/ethnicity, as well as demonstrated leadership potential, readiness for increased responsibility, professional achievement and community or campus involvement.

The 2015 participants hail from throughout the United States and have roles from youth services librarians to the "geospatial services coordinator" for Columbia University in New York City.

"There's so much I can go and learn from people running different types of libraries: academic libraries, special libraries, K-12 libraries," White said. "Everybody serves patrons who have needs that are a little bit different."

White said she hopes to take part in brainstorming ideas about the future of libraries and changes in patron needs and technology.

"It's always exciting to be with people who have expressed interest in stepping out of their everyday role," she said.

The institute is designed to help participants develop and practice their leadership skills in order to better help the libraries and the communities they serve

The American Library Association is the oldest and largest library association in the world, with about 52,000 members in academic, public, school, government and special libraries.

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