The Lilead Fellows, a driven and motivated group of school district library supervisors from across the country, met from July 21st to July 24th, 2015 for a 3-day Summer Institute at the University of Maryland, College Park. This Summer Institute was the second in-person meeting of the , an intensive 18-month professional leadership development program for school district library supervisors to work closely on similar issues and goals with their mentors, educators and experts in the field of library science, and other district library supervisors. Collectively, the Lilead Fellows come from 17 states across the United States, representing 2,181 schools (including elementary, middle, and high schools) and approximately 1.5 million students, with just fewer than 50% of these students receiving free or reduced meals.
Building upon the transformative work they began in Chicago at their first face-to-face meeting to tackle important and pressing goals for their district’s school library program, Fellows continued to build a network of engaged and enthusiastic educators dedicated to working collaboratively in large and small groups to share ideas and best practices, struggle with how to address challenges and issues, and think of new and exciting possibilities for school libraries in their districts and states, as well as across the nation.
This elite group of school district administrators is passionate about the schools and communities they serve. They are equally convicted of the power and value a good school library program has on the success of its students, teachers, parents, and staff. Lilead Fellows all have grand visions for what a library program can and should be to help make positive, lasting impacts on teaching and learning in their district’s schools. They each see their district’s library program as an integral part of 21st century learning and teaching and are all using the Lilead Fellows Program and the diversity in knowledge and experience of its participants and mentors to move their district’s library program forward and closer to their vision.
The Fellows will convene for their third face-to-face meeting just after the AASL National Conference in November in Columbus, Ohio. Virtual meetings with their mentor small groups, an online listserv, and monthly webinars will allow Fellows to remain connected to each other and focused on their goals until they meet again in Columbus.