Blake named to Emerging Leaders Program

Katherine Blake, teen programmer at Main Library, has been named to the 2022 American Library Association (ALA) Emerging Leaders Program. This exclusive program selects no more than fifty participants each year. Applicants must be relatively new to the library world, having fewer than five years’ experience. This national leadership development program provides the opportunity to network with other library employees from across the country, work with them in problem solving groups, and learn the inside workings of the ALA. According to the website, it puts participants on the fast track to ALA committee volunteerism as well as work with other library related organizations.

Blake has worked at CALS for a little over four years. She was hired as a part-time library assistant on Level 4 in 2017, then transferred to Nixon Library as a children’s programmer, and finally landed in her current position at the Main Library on Level 4 as a teen programmer. She also focuses on outreach programming, specifically with the at-risk groups. “My favorite thing about working with CALS is that they allow so much creative freedom,” said Blake. “Planning programs, especially the last year and a half, has been interesting to say the least. CALS has allowed programmers the freedom to try new things and see what works.”

When asked what she hopes to get out of the ALA Emerging Leaders Program, Blake replied: “I hope to gain new perspectives on library work through the EL program. Libraries are surprisingly complex organizations with incredibly diverse people working in them; I hope I will be able to gain a deeper understanding of what libraries could and should do for their communities.  I am also excited to be more involved in other ALA committees/communities and to hopefully bring more library professionals into the fold. I would say my biggest goals are to gain new perspectives and to build connections both within the profession itself and with the communities we serve.”

“I decided to apply for this program because I am always looking for exciting opportunities to further my education & training. I enjoy networking & talking to other library workers, so this seemed like a great way to do that as well. Additionally, I have wanted to attend the annual ALA conference for many years and this program will give me the opportunity to do that. I have to also say a big thank you to Stewart Fuell who invited me to participate in ArLA, the Arkansas Library Association, which in turn introduced me to the whole library association world. I would encourage every Arkansas library worker to participate in ArLA. It is a great community and a huge support system.”

To learn more about the program, follow this link to the Emerging Leaders page.