Apply for 2021

We hope you’ll apply for one of the 20 slots available for the 2021 cohort. Here’s what you can expect:

Program Goals and Design

We have four components to this project:

1. Twice-monthly cohort meetings online. Here’s where we’ll connect you to guest speakers, activities, and information you can use to grow your program. We’ll base some later sessions’ content on what the selected participants articulate as priorities, but we’ll also talk about topics like grantwriting, strategic planning, marketing, refreshing summer reading, and more. Required meetings are the first and third Wednesdays of the month, from 10-11:30am Eastern. You’ll need a laptop (not a tablet) to do this kind of work, as well as access to Google Drive. To facilitate time and tech access, program participants receive a $1000 stipend that can be used to support your ongoing learning. You can use these funds to purchase a laptop or hotspot, pay a sub to work while you’re with us, purchase association memberships or conferences, or even cover your mileage to get to the November 2021 conference described below.

2. Monthly informal conversation. Library life in pandemic times brings a lot of challenges. Plus, we all like to swap stories, get advice, and talk about library day-to-day operations. These are informal, small-group conversations hosted by alums from last year’s cohort to help you connect to others, scheduled at a variety of times from which you can choose one.

3. Project funding: Our program’s organizers and funders believe strongly that today’s public libraries need to be nimble and responsive to community needs, not just give great service to our regular patrons. Each participating library will design a project geared at community impact and receive $1000 in funding to carry it out.

4. Conference: Leaders don’t just serve their service areas; they also contribute to the larger professional conversation. Each participant will give a short presentation at a conference designed, hosted, and run by you! We’re tentatively scheduling this in Ann Arbor for November 13, 2021, pending the status of the pandemic, and you can use some of your $1000 stipend described in #1 above to cover travel expenses and sub time. To get a sense of what the conference might feel like, this year’s cohort is presenting theirs online on November 19, 2020 — come join us!


Informational Sessions to Learn More

Thurday, Oct. 29, 7pm Eastern
Archived Recording

Monday, Nov. 2, noon Eastern
Archived Recording


Application Dates to Know

December 1 – application deadline, Class IV

by December 5– notification of acceptance


Program Schedule

Please see the Schedule page.


Apply here!

Link to application form