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HCL Staff Benefit from Leadership Institute

Five Harvard College Library (HCL) employees participated in the fifth annual Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL)/Harvard Leadership Institute held last month: Roger Brisson, Germanic Division head, HCL Technical Services; Sarah Adams, keeper of the Isham Memorial Library and project director for US RISM Office, Eda Kuhn Loeb Music Library; Violet Gilboa, Littauer Hebraica Technical and Research Services Librarian, Judaica Division, Widener Library; Donna Koepp, head of the Government Documents/ Microforms Library; and Nicholas Wharton, associate head of Access Services and head of the Circulation Division in Widener.

The Leadership Institute, co-sponsored by ACRL and Harvard Institutes of Higher Education, is an intensive program that focuses on critical skills required of library leaders. Each year HCL selects five staff members who hold leadership positions to attend. The Institute helps leaders to think strategically about emerging needs of students and faculty, changing expectations of library staff, new technologies, and long-range plans for the library within the larger institution.

"There was a lot of information to digest, but small group sessions gave us time to practice, discuss, and apply the new concepts to case studies as well as our own situations. The issues discussed by our small groups varied in scope, from working within a single division like mine to dealing with the intricacies of running an entire university library. What we discovered was that the scope was the only difference—the symptoms as well as the ways to address the situation were surprisingly similar," said Wharton.

"The institute was comprised of an impressive group of 97 individuals from all over the United States and even Australia. The most enjoyable aspect was meeting such a large group of successful librarians who were willing to share their experiences in the interest of helping the whole group," said Koepp.

"All the participants were left with so many tools and techniques to apply to our daily work in our home libraries that everyone generally acknowledged that we would continue to reflect on this material in the weeks and months to come. Even though I was scheduled to take my two-week summer vacation right after the Institute, I was so filled with ideas and new approaches that I wanted to immediately return to work!" said Brisson.

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Last modified on Monday, November 17, 2003.