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Leadership Institute for Academic Librarians

7/30/17 to 8/4/17

Tuition: $3,625

Members of the Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL): $3,425 per person

Priority Application Deadline: June 16, 2017

We are currently accepting and reviewing applications as space is available. For consideration, please submit an application at your earliest convenience, no later than July 23, 2017.

What You Will Learn

The program details important leadership concepts and applies them to the practical challenges of leading and managing the contemporary academic library. The curriculum addresses three areas — planning, organizational strategy and change, and transformational learning — with an overarching goal of increasing your leadership and management capacity.

Program Overview

The institutional environment confronting leaders of academic libraries has never been more complex and challenging. Technological change is fundamentally redefining the core role, purpose, and function of the academic library. Newly emerging information services and capabilities frequently outstrip available resources. Library leaders must provide articulate, strategic leadership and find more effective ways to integrate their views and priorities into campus-wide planning efforts.

The Leadership Institute for Academic Librarians provides the tools and insight needed to improve your leadership effectiveness and help your library respond to a rapidly shifting competitive landscape. It is designed for those who must think strategically about emerging institutional and informational needs, changing expectations of library leaders, new technologies, and long-range plans for the library. The curriculum will deepen your insights and broaden your repertoire of useful approaches to leadership. The program also provides a valuable opportunity to assess your own leadership strengths and weaknesses in a supportive and engaging learning environment.

Program Objectives

The program focuses on two key questions:

  •     How well-positioned is your organization to meet current and future challenges?
  •     How effective is your own leadership?
Who Should Attend
  • College and university librarians with leadership and/or management responsibilities
  • Library deans, directors, and unit heads, along with those reporting to them in positions like associate university librarian or assistant library dean
  • Other campus administrators with responsibilities that routinely affect important library-related functions
What People Are Saying

“What a great experience! Thank you so much for providing this thoughtful opportunity to learn and grow.”  —Kathryn Sullivan, Assistant Head of Reference, University of Maryland Baltimore County, Baltimore, MD

“I have always wanted to attend a program at HGSE. We were so well taken care of and instruction was amazing. A transformational experience.”  —Christine Weber, Library Director, Illinois College of Optometry, Chicago, IL

“Amazing. It was an honor to be part of this experience.” —2013 participant


Faculty Chair

Joseph Zolner is lecturer on education and senior director of the Harvard Institutes for Higher Education at HGSE. As HIHE Director, he is responsible for the quality, relevance and variety of professional development programs offered by HGSE for the higher education community. Previously, Zolner served as director of the Graduate Management Institute at Union College, NY and Director of the Graduate School of Business Administration at Northeastern University, MA.


Jon Cawthorne, dean of libraries, West Virginia University

Chris Bourg, director of libraries, MIT

Joan Gallos, educator, author, academic leader, and scholar in the field of leadership and management education. Her latest book (2016) is titled Engagement: Transforming Difficult Relationships at Work

Deborah Helsing, lecturer on education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, researcher and author at Way To Grow, and Director of Coach Learning Programs at Minds at Work

James Honan, senior lecturer on education and educational co-chair for the Institute for Educational Management (IEM) at the Harvard Graduate School of Education

Ann Thornton, university librarian and vice provost, Columbia University

Maureen Sullivan, past president, American Library Association (ALA)


Enrollment Instructions

The Leadership Institute for Academic Librarians is limited to those with significant leadership and/or administrative responsibility at a college university library, and who show high promise for making a significant contribution in the future.

Applications from library directors, university librarians, and their associates and direct reports will be considered on a rolling basis. Since this institute fills quickly, early application is recommended.

Step One
You will be asked to provide your personal profile and organizational information.

Step Two
You will be asked to respond to the following questions:

  1. Explain how participation in the program will benefit your work and describe one or more significant challenges you would like to explore during the program. (250 word limit)
  2. In what ways do you expect your particular skills, experience and perspective to contribute to group discussions? (250 word limit)
Fees, Hotel Accommodations, and Policies

The comprehensive tuition includes all instructional materials and refreshments. Participants receive a certificate of participation upon completion of the program.

Payment or a purchase order must be received within thirty days of program acceptance and prior to the program start. Participants are responsible for their own travel expenses. While a purchase order confirms a reservation, an outstanding balance is maintained until payment is rendered. If funds are unable to be processed within these guidelines, a documented payment plan is to be sent via mail, e-mail, or fax, and received two weeks prior to the program start date.

Please click here for more information on hotel accommodations for on-campus programs.

Please click here for more information on our on-campus and online refund and withdrawal policies. If you have any additional questions or concerns about your ability to participate, please contact our admissions team at or 1-800-545-1849.

The Harvard Graduate School of Education reserves the right to change faculty or cancel programs at its discretion. In the unlikely event of program changes, the school is not responsible for non-refundable travel arrangements or other planning expenses incurred.

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