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Library Leadership in a Digital Age

3/16/17 to 3/18/17


Tuition: $2,800 per person

Application Deadline: March 9, 2017

What You Will Learn

Gain both conceptual insight and practical knowledge on how to function as an effective library leader within rapidly changing societal and institutional contexts.

Program Overview

Library Leadership in a Digital Age brings together faculty experts, policymakers, and library leaders to consider the current state and future direction of the profession. During the program, you will identify fundamental changes occurring in the field of knowledge management and consider their implications for libraries, information services, and library leadership.

As a participant, you will examine how new technologies are redefining the teaching/learning process and develop practical strategies for leading libraries more effectively during uncertain and dynamic times. The curriculum addresses several overarching questions:

  • Is the library a physical place, a set of articulated information services, a vehicle to enact new understandings about teaching and learning, or all of the above?
  • What will learning look like in the future and how will libraries need to respond?
  • How must the role of the library be reimagined as new digital media, resources, and services expand and sharpen?
  • What opportunities — digital and otherwise — exist for libraries to become architects and purveyors of intellectual communities in new and innovative ways?
  • How must library leaders adapt their leadership practice to take best advantage of these new and unprecedented opportunities?
Program Objectives
  • Become a more effective library leader within changed, competitive, and institutional contexts
  • Understand the changed nature of library leadership in a digital age
  • Consider the strengths and weaknesses, opportunities and limitations, promises and pitfalls of new digital media, resources, and opportunities
  • Examine new design and delivery options for library resources and services
Who Should Attend
  • Library leaders operating in a variety of settings and contexts including colleges, universities, professional schools, K–12 schools, research organizations, historic preservation/archives, and public libraries
  • Senior-level library leaders in significant decisionmaking positions interested in crafting exciting new visions for their libraries and serving their constituents more strategically, comprehensively, and effectively
What People Are Saying

“I have never been sad to leave a conference before, but I was today. I wanted to stay and continue to learn.” – Kristi Palmer, Digital Scholarship Team Leader, IUPUI University Library, Indianapolis

“I thought the program was wonderful. I particularly appreciated how much the sessions fully engaged us.”  – past LLDA participant

“It was excellent — I appreciated having the time set aside to think and learn about these issues.” – past LLDA participant


Faculty Chair

Joseph Zolner is senior director of the Harvard Institutes of Higher Education (HIHE) and educational chair for the Management Development Program and Leadership Institute for Academic Librarians at HIHE. As HIHE senior director, he is responsible for the quality, relevance, and variety of professional development programs offered by the Harvard Graduate School of Education for the higher education community. 


Chris Bourg, director of libraries, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Michael J. Barker, Director of Academy Research, Information, and Library Services at Phillips Academy, Andover

Tom Blake, digital projects manager, Boston Public Library

David Ferriero, archivist of the United States

Emily Gore, director for content, Digital Public Library of America (DPLA)

Carla Hayden, 14th librarian of congress

Deanna Marcum, senior advisor, Ithaka S+R

Jim Neal, university librarian emeritus, Columbia University and President-Elect, American Library Association

Maureen Sullivan, past president, American Library Association (ALA) and Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL)


Enrollment Instructions

Qualified applicants are admitted on a rolling, space-available basis. Admission decisions will be made within three weeks of submission of a completed application. Early application is encouraged.

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

Step Two
You will be asked to respond to two 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 program tuition includes all instructional materials and some meals. 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 program start. Participants are responsible for their own travel expenses. While a purchase order confirms your reservation, an outstanding balance is maintained until payment is rendered. 

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, 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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