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

2018-19 Semester


The Central New York Resources Council’s Professional Development Award helped to enable me to attend the Empowerment, Advocacy and Leadership Academy (EALA) presented over the past 8 months by the Youth Services Section (YSS) of the New York Library Association (NYLA).  I am very grateful for the opportunity to attend this valuable series of courses, which were presented partly in person and partly via webinar.  Although I have been a professional librarian for 28 years, I am new to my current position of Young Adult Librarian, having spent the first 25 years as a Children’s Librarian.  I found the information and skills shared during the EALA invaluable to my work with teens.  I was able to network and connect with other professionals and share resources, as well as brainstorm ideas throughout the program.

The coursework throughout the Academy included the following:

  • Leadership
  • The Community Experience
  • Marketing your Library/Programs
  • Communication and Presentation skills
  • Partnerships, Collaborations & Relationships
  • Human Resources/Interviewing/Management
  • Practical Planning & Design for Children and Teen Spaces
  • Mentoring/Team Building
  • Budget Planning & Financial Management

The full curriculum for the Academy can be found on the YSS website at https://www.nyla.org/max/events/yss-empowerment-adovcacy-and-leadership-academy-eala/321/  (this is for the upcoming 2019-20 semester, but the coursework is the same).

The Academy also included, as a requirement of completion, the creation of a special project and student presentations of such.  I chose as my special project the redevelopment of the Teen Volunteer Program at my library.  I was able to use the resources and information gleaned from the programs to create a new plan, develop documents and records, and create promotional materials; and the program will be in place this summer.

The opportunity to attend the YSS EALA has enabled me to develop further in my professional career, and I will be able to use these skills well into my future as a Young Adult Librarian.  I connected with other professionals of varied backgrounds and experience, and those relationships have inspired me to strive further. I would like to extend my sincere thanks to the Central New York Resources Council for this valuable experience. 


Lorie Finger

Youth Services/Young Adult Library, Manlius Library


Are you interested in being our next Professional Development Award recipient? Check out the award page for the rules & requirements!

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