I’ve mentioned ILEAD USA (born ILEAD U) several times in this blog, and for good reason. Put simply I think this is the best intensive continuing education for library professionals out there. I don’t say this because I am part of it. Rather I am part of it because I believe in the project so much.
Teams of librarians from across 10 states gather for three intensive residencies and multiple inter-session activities over a year (can I get an hallelujah for 10 state libraries working together on professional development). In that year these library professionals work in teams on projects and learn about leadership, technology, and what library service focused on communities looks like.
Not only do these teams of librarians learn, but the whole project is about building state-wide networks of awesome librarians. ILEAD USA has produced incredible projects like developing entrepreneurs in rural Illinois, region-wide digital repository systems, public/school librarian collaborations, life transition services for the unemployed, a law school library collaborative, circulating tablet training kits, evaluation systems for youth services, and much, much more. ILEAD USA and IMLS helped fund the development of The Atlas of New Librarianship.
It’s not too late to be a part. Either as a team member, a mentor, or an instructor. Check with your state library if you live in Delaware, Illinois (more info http://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/departments/library/libraries/ileadusa.html), Maine (more info http://www.maine.gov/msl/libs/ce/ilead_usa/index.shtml), North Dakota (more info http://ileadusanorthdakota.wordpress.com), New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Utah, or Wisconsin.
If you’re not in one of those states, check out the keynotes and material the project provides: https://www.youtube.com/user/ILEADUIllinois
A VERY big thank you to IMLS for their continued support of this project and the continued development of awesome librarians.