Leading Libraries: Transforming library leadership

What is Leading Libraries?

Leading Libraries is a 30-month leadership development programme for public libraries.

The programme is generously funded by the Arts Council as part of the Transforming Leadership programme, with additional funding from Libraries Connected and support in-kind from CILIP.

Why do we need Leading Libraries?

People who use public libraries come from all parts of the community. However, our workforce at almost every level, simply fails to reflect this diversity, when it comes to people from minority ethnic groups and women in leadership roles.

This matters in an increasingly diverse and divided society where public libraries have a key role in valuing all individuals, representing and respecting communities, and bringing people together.

Leading Libraries aims to harness the talent of these underrepresented groups through a 30-month learning and mentoring programme which values their talents and skills.

We want to develop innovative, entrepreneurial library workers who will have the confidence and the vision to lead teams in tough times and who actively represent the communities they serve

What will the programme provide?

We will recruit 15 library services to participate in the project. A specialist leadership development agency will be appointed to work with the services and to:

  • Provide training and mentoring development for their heads of service.
  • Identify one emerging leader from each library service to receive training and to initiate, deliver and evaluate their own leadership-focused project for their service, which has local, regional or national impact.
  • Select two workers in each of the 15 library services to receive mentoring from the emerging leaders as well as training.
  • Develop an online course to ensure that libraries across the UK are able to access leadership development resources.

Each service will commit £2000 over the course of the programme to support the work of their emerging leader.

How will libraries be recruited to the programme?

The programme will launch in November with a conference for all heads of public libraries in England.

Application will be through an Expression of Interest process that will open in October and close in December.

We will welcome applications from heads of service as well as individuals who believe that they would benefit from the project.

How can I find out more?

To find out more about how to join Leading Libraries, please email: info@librariesconnected.org.uk

Leading Libraries is run in partnership with CILIP and funded by the Arts Council as part of their Transforming Leadership programme.