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Call for Applications: NLM/Association of Academic Health Sciences Libraries (AAHSL) Leadership Fellows Program, 2015-2016

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) is pleased to announce the 2015-2016 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 the position of library director in academic health sciences libraries. The application deadline is July 20, 2015.

“This program has been an unqualified success since its launch in 2002,” observed NLM Acting Director Betsy L. Humphreys. “We are so pleased to be a partner in it, and to witness its positive impact on the participants — both fellows and mentors — and on the management of libraries across the nation.”

AAHSL President Paul Schoening said, “The Leadership Fellows Program in partnership with the National Library of Medicine signals AAHSL’s commitment to ensuring a bright future for academic health sciences libraries. Through this program we cultivate a new set of leaders who will do more than excel as directors of today’s libraries, they will define the libraries of tomorrow.”

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 sciences 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 a small cohort of fellows and will underwrite travel and meeting expenses.

Sixty-seven fellows and 57 different mentors have participated in the program since its beginning. To date, 27 of 61 graduate fellows have received director appointments; overall, 75% of fellow graduates have been promoted to director or other positions of higher responsibility.

Judy Consales, fellow, class of 2002-2003; now Associate University Librarian for Sciences and Director, Louise M. Darling Biomedical Library, UCLA, said,” As a member of the first cohort I've continued to be amazed at the quality retained and further refined as the Leadership Fellows Program has evolved. The program has been transformative in serving to train and mentor a new generation of directors and health sciences library leaders thanks to the ongoing support and commitment of the National Library of Medicine and Association of Academic Health Sciences Libraries. The perspective it provided has continued to sustain me in the decade plus since my fellowship year.”

Neville Prendergast, fellow, class of 2007-2008; now director, Rudolf Matas Library of the Health Sciences, Tulane University, offered, “The Leadership Fellows Program is a most vital and integral component of developing future directors of health sciences libraries. Every segment of the program bears importance, but for me the mentoring and visit to the mentor’s library played very significantly in my growth. Such active learning experiences live with you and can be drawn on to serve every fellow in his /her own developmental stage to a directorship or during the continuum of learning to be the ‘director extraordinaire’ .“

A mentor with the 2012 class commented,” The program has given me the opportunity of mentoring a talented and visionary librarian. I’ve learned at least as much as I’ve given. I now have a fresh perspective on my own leadership role at my institution and insights into other libraries. I’m looking forward to following my fellow’s career. Our profession is in good hands.”

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 year-long fellow/mentor relationship; webinars and discussions on issues related to library leadership; and two weeks of site visit to the mentor’s home library.

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 sciences libraries;
  • Develop meaningful professional relationships between fellows and mentors that give fellows access to career guidance and support;
  • Expose fellows to another academic health sciences library and its institutional leadership under the guidance of their mentors;
  • Examine career development and provide models of directors to fellows;
  • Create a cohort of leaders 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 and enhance the competitive standing of fellows as they pursue director positions.


The NLM/AAHSL Leadership Fellows Program is currently accepting applications and nominations for the July 20, 2015 deadline for potential fellows for the 2015-2016 experience. Candidates for fellow should have a strong interest in pursuing a directorship in academic health sciences libraries, as well as prior management experience. Applications are welcomed from professionals working in academic health sciences libraries, hospital libraries, or other library-related settings. Applications from qualified minority candidates are encouraged.

Directors with at least five years’ experience as director of an academic health sciences library should indicate preliminary interest in being matched as a mentor by contacting the AAHSL Future Leadership Committee by July 15th.

The program brochure, including information on program design, schedule, and application process, is available at:

For more information about the program, please contact Carol Jenkins, Program Director, AAHSL Future Leadership Committee,

Since its founding in 1836, the National Library of Medicine has played a pivotal role in translating biomedical research into practice and is a leader in information innovation. NLM is the world's largest medical library, and millions of scientists, health professionals and the public around the world use NLM services every day.