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NLM/AAHSL Co-sponsor 2006-2007 Leadership Fellows Program for Health Sciences Librarians

The National Library of Medicine is pleased to announce the 2006-2007 year of the leadership program jointly sponsored with the Association of Academic Health Sciences Libraries (AAHSL). The NLM/AAHSL Leadership Fellows Program is focused on preparing emerging leaders for director positions in academic health center libraries.

"This collaboration of NLM and AAHSL is of exceptional value for the next generation of directors and to the profession as a whole. It is a model that other associations are looking to," said AAHSL president Logan Ludwig.

Fellows will have the opportunity to develop their knowledge and skills in a variety of learning settings, including exposure to leadership in another environment. They will be paired with mentors who are academic health center library directors. In addition to the individual relationship with their mentors, fellows benefit from working collaboratively with other fellows and mentors. Experienced program faculty and mentors will provide content and facilitation for the cohort. The program takes advantage of flexible scheduling and an online learning community to minimize disruption to professional and personal schedules. The sponsors will provide financial support for up to five fellows and will underwrite travel and meeting expenses.

Forty fellows and mentors have participated in the program since its inauguration in 2002. To date, six of the fifteen fellows from the first three classes have received promotions to positions of higher responsibility.

"I can't stress enough the value of the program as a key factor in my being appointed to a director position," noted Judy Consales, fellow, class of 2002-2003. "It strengthened my professional skills and enhanced my vision, and my administration recognized the merit of the NLM/AAHSL connection."

Karen Brewer, mentor, class of 2005-2006, said, "We don't often get the chance to reflect and discuss `directorship' in this way. I've learned as much from my fellow as she has from me."

Jo Dorsch, fellow, class of 2003-2004, stated, "The fellowship created an instant nationwide network fueled by the shared experience. The relationships I developed with my mentor and the fellows continue to evolve and are a valued source of advice, support, and friendship."

Program Overview

The one-year program design is multi-faceted: three in-person leadership institutes; attendance at an Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) annual meeting; a yearlong fellow/mentor relationship; Web-based activities and discussion on issues related to library leadership; and a two-week site visit to the mentor's home library (in one or two-week segments).

The program is designed to:

  • Introduce fellows to leadership theory and practical tools for implementing change at organizational and professional levels;
  • Introduce fellows to critical issues facing academic health center libraries;
  • Develop meaningful professional relationships between fellows and mentors that give fellows access to career guidance and support;
  • Expose fellows to another academic health center library and its institutional leadership under the guidance of their mentors;
  • Examine career development and provide models of directors to potential future academic health center library directors;
  • Create a cohort of learners who will draw upon each other for support throughout their careers;
  • Promote diversity in the leadership of the profession; and
  • Offer recognition to emerging leaders.

Application

The NLM/AAHSL Leadership Fellows Program is currently accepting applications and nominations for the August 18, 2006, deadline for potential fellows and mentors for the 2006-2007 experience. Candidates for fellow should have a strong interest in pursuing a directorship in academic health center libraries, as well as a minimum of five years of department head level or higher responsibility, or equivalent experience, in an academic health center library, hospital library, or other library-related setting. Applications from qualified minority candidates are encouraged. Mentors should have at least five years' experience as director of an academic health center library.

The program brochure, including information on program design, schedule, and application process, is available online at http://www.aahsl.org/new/display_page.cfm?file_id=65. For more information about the program, please contact Carolyn Lipscomb, Project Manager, AAHSL Future Leadership Task Force, carolynlipscomb@cs.com.

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