Each year, APALA sponsors one of its members to participate in ALA’s Emerging Leaders program. This year’s emerging leader is Lessa Kanani’opua Pelayo-Lozada, a public librarian from southern California.

Lessa shared some of her thoughts about the Emerging Leaders program on her blog. Here’s an excerpt:

Personally, I have a hard time seeing myself as what I call “a leader”, so when I filled out the application for the 2011 ALA Emerging Leaders class to be sponsored by APALA, I felt kind of like a fraud.  Sure, I like to make sure things get done.  I like to volunteer to help when I can, and I tend to describe myself as an A-Type, goal oriented kind of person – but I was (and am) sure a leader is more than these things.  Listening to the stories of leaders in ALA such as past-president Leslie Burger, and 2012-2013 presidential candidate, Maureen Sullivan, as well as Assistant Director of Princeton Public Library, Peter Bromberg, though, leadership can be learned – and the learning seems to begin with the kinds of qualities I possess.  I joked with a colleague when we first arrived in the conference room that we weren’t leaders yet – we were only emerging.  We still needed to be molded and cultivated.  By the end of the day, I felt that maybe with a little more watering, and a little more fear, I just might make it.

Be sure to check out the entire post, titled “The 2011 Emerging Leaders Class Midwinter Meeting: Be Scared Everyday and Have a Drink in Your Hands.”

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