Empowerment, Advocacy, and Leadership Academy by the Youth Services Section of the New York Library Association

2018-19 Semester

Being part of the NYLA Empowerment, Advocacy, and Leadership Academy was a great opportunity to strenghen my own professional skills. The sessions each focused on a different facet of youth services and more broadly library management.

The format of having different monthly workshops about specific topics gave the opportunity to have deeper conversations about best practices regarding library service. This also allowed for connections to be made with other experts in the field. Additionally, having exposure to elements that are not part of my role in my current position, like hiring and conducting annual reviews, but are an important part of the library culture, helped me to see where my current position could transition to something more in the future.

Having workshops that met in person was a great way to meet other youth service librarians. Meeting librarians from a variety of systems who share what was working for their patrons and what big goals they had for their departments and libraries was a helpful way to brainstorm and refine my own professional goals. It was nice to make connections with others from my own system that I had only had passing conversations with at system-wide department meetings. Networking has helped to create new partnerships and ideas for me.

The NYLA Empowerment, Advocacy, and Leadership Academy helped to give me resources to improve my professional skills through hands-on activities, interactive webinars, and building a larger professional network of people who were enthusiastic to be mentors to other youth service professionals. My participation in the EALA helped to develop my communication and leadership skills so taht I am better able to advocate for myself on a professional level and for youth services within the greater library community.

Jenna Wright-Martin

Education Coordinator, Cazenovia Public Library

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