The application period has closed! Selected participants will be notified by December 24, 2023.

In May 2023, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the World Health Organization formally ended COVID-19 as a global health emergency, formally ending three years of unprecedented changes to public libraries. What comes next for us? How do we reconnect with community members so we can better attune our services, maintain our foundational ideals in a changed landscape, tell more compelling stories of libraries’ access and impact, communicate more effectively with others, and bring staff along as we forge a “new normal” for our communities?

Join the Library of Michigan and the University of MIchigan School of Information (UMSI) as we explore these and other questions in this free program for Michigan public library directors.

We will select 100 Michigan public library directors based on application to join us for monthly meetings from January – December 2024. Participants will be divided into 25-member cohorts based on library class size for monthly meetings over Zoom.

Each session focuses on a different angle of libraries’ “new normal” and features speakers from the field, communication and strategic experts, targeted activities, and open conversation. Additionally, each participant will receive a customized training session with communications experts from Hennes Communications, who will prepare them to better respond to challenging and difficult conversations, and can take advantage of a short community survey with analysis by UMSI.

At the end of 12 months, each participant will share advice and celebrate growth by participating in a short presentation at either a free face-to-face conference at the Library of Michigan (March 21, 2025) or a free virtual conference (April 25, 2025), where they’ll mingle and learn with those from the other cohorts. 

Workshop costs, conference hotel rooms, and a modest travel stipend are paid for by the Library of Michigan.

Extended Deadline!: Applications are due Sunday, December 17, 11:59pm. Participants will be notified by December 24, 2023.

To learn more, read our FAQ or review our Wed., 10/25 informational webinar .

Got questions? Email nextlevellibrarianship [at] umich [dot] edu.