By Ashley Flynn
The Pennsylvania Library Association’s Academy of Leadership Studies (PALS) is a training opportunity designed help Pennsylvanian librarians maximize their leadership potential. Many participants come away from the experience feeling energized and confident in their own abilities, but training is only one component of the program.
The other element is participating in a year-long service project designed to further the goals of PA Forward. My group’s project has been to write articles for the Compendium sharing and celebrating the work libraries are doing to promote PA Forward around the state. We’ve decided to turn the spotlight on our fellow PALS graduates and share their projects with you.
PA Forward Partnership Announcements
This group’s goal was “to make optimum use of an established communication vehicle to provide PA Forward partners with the opportunity to share announcements,” according to the PALS website.
The group includes:
Laura Laspee and
“We are tasked with reaching out to each of the PA Forward partners for information about their organization,” explained group member Andrea E. Hartranft, Adjunct Reference and Instruction Librarian at HACC, Central Pennsylvania’s Community College. “We then create emails to be sent to the pamailall listserv advertising how libraries can benefit and/or work with that specific partner.” The papublib listerv and Compendium have also been used to highlight the ways in which PA Forward partners can benefit libraries.
The project has been very successful. “We have sent out several emails already, and it’s been great to see how we can partner with the organizations,” said Hartranft. “I wasn’t aware of all of the services that were available to the public from a variety of organizations.”
Others in the library community are sure to be surprised by the wealth of services that partner organizations can offer, and this group’s work helps disseminate that information. “I think the value in our work was presenting the partner resources in a way that librarians can use without having to do their own research or legwork,” added group member Christie Himmelreich, Director of the Schuylkill Valley Community Library.
The group also decided to track the number of clicks that each email generates in order to help assess their impact. “It has been really validating to see the number of clicks that each of our emails generates,” Hartranft noted. “This information has also been valuable to the [partner] organizations, and they are pleased with the results.” To date, the group has generated 1,084 clicks!
For their part, the PA Forward partners love the idea, but are very busy and sometimes take a while to respond to the group members. As a result, it takes longer than expected to produce each email. This represented the biggest struggle for the group, according to Hartranft.
The end result is well worth the time spent crafting each email, as each email helps improve the partnership between libraries and organizations. These efforts represent another way that libraries can advance the PA Forward literacies by helping to educate the public on the many services available to them.
An added benefit has been the ability to work collaboratively. “I have really enjoyed working with my partners,” Hartranft noted. “We have a weekly phone call, and it’s become a nice routine every week. When it is over I will miss working with them.”
The PALS program is an excellent way to meet and collaborate with librarians from across the state while advancing PA Forward. For information about how to apply for the 2016 PALS, visit https://www.palibraries.org/?page=PALS.