The Lilead Project

Lilead Fellows Meet in Chicago to Collaborate on Transformational Projects for their School Districts

The Lilead Fellows Program held its first face-to-face meeting just before the 2015 ALA Midwinter Meeting in Chicago. The goal of the Fellows Program is to empower, enable, and equip school district library supervisors to be activists and transformational change agents for teaching and learning in their districts and communities. The Lilead Project is pleased to share the progress made and goals set by this dynamic and eager group of 25 Fellows who represent school districts large and small in 17 states across the country.

The Fellows’ time in Chicago enabled these school library leaders to discuss their personal strengths, share and compare their district strengths and challenges, and begin building a community of educational library leaders dedicated and motivated to tackling the difficult issues their districts face. Our short time together resulted in the setting of transformational goals as well as progress towards potential solutions for some of the pressing issues the Fellows identified as necessary to address in their districts. In their own words, some of these goals include:

“Raise collective expectations of librarians in how they impact teaching and learning (i.e., kids and teachers) from being pleasant providers of books to being highly-valued instructional leaders who impact every part of the academic culture of a school.” – Sarah Searles, Knox County Schools, Tennessee

Increase academic rigor by incorporating Common Core standards, especially research standards, into the district library program.” – Carol Robinson, Orofino Joint School District #171, Idaho

“Enhance the secondary school librarian job description to include a stronger emphasis on leading technology integration in instructional design and implementation.” – Robert Jones, Clark County School District, Nevada

All 25 Fellows are working on goals that will attempt to bring about transformational changes in their school district, focusing on one of three themes: implementing 21stcentury curriculum standards, integrating advanced technology into teaching and learning, and advocating for the contributions of school library programs to the districts’ schools and broader communities. The Fellows will meet virtually over the next five months in small groups led by Mentors, experts in the field of school librarianship and change agents in their own right. They will congregate again this July in College Park, Maryland, for a 3-day Summer Institute focused on the change process and using their leadership strengths to become positive change agents in their states, school districts, and local communities.


About the Lilead Fellows Program
The Lilead Fellows Program, supported by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), is an intensive 18-month long professional development program consisting 25 school district library supervisors from across the country. This professional development opportunity allows participants to develop leadership skills in integrating information literacy instruction with content area standards, technology use and integration, and advocacy for library programs and services. Learn more by following us on Twitter.

About the Institute for Museum and Library Services
The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. Our mission is to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement. Our grant making, policy development, and research help libraries and museums deliver valuable services that make it possible for communities and individuals to thrive. To learn more, visit and follow us on Facebookand Twitter.