I was thrilled to be able to participate in the American Library Association's Emerging Leader program for the class of 2011. The program allowed me to meet librarians from all over the country, some of which I hope to maintain lifelong friendships. The program allowed me to learn a significant amount of information about ALA and provided me the opportunity to get more involved with the organizational side of the organization. I truly believe that the Emerging Leaders program has given me opportunities that I would never have had otherwise. The opportunity to meet and mingle with ALA officials and staff was not only memorable, but it gave the opportunity to create professional ties with many people I might not otherwise have met and/or had the courage to speak to on my own.
I am excited to say that my participation in the Emerging Leaders program, along with my participation in my state library association, has allowed me to help push forward and solidify the Arkansas Library Association's future sponsorship of Emerging Leader participants.
Update - August 2014
The Arkansas Library Association now has a standing Emerging Leader Selection Committee. This committee is organized with past Emerging Leaders and our goal is to continue to encourage Arkansans to apply for the program and participate in both the state and national library associations. For more information about the Arkansas Library Association's Emerging Leader Selection Committee, please view our webpage here: http://arlib.org/organization/emerging_leader.php