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Illinois College librarian receives highly competitive honor
Brittney Thomas, public services librarian at Illinois College Schewe Library, has been selected into the 2013 American Library Association (ALA) Emerging Leaders program.

The ALA Emerging Leaders program is a leadership development program which enables newer library workers from across the country to participate in problem-solving work groups, network with peers, gain an inside look into ALA structure and have an opportunity to serve the profession in a leadership capacity. It puts participants on the fast track to ALA committee volunteerism as well as other professional library-related organizations.

“This is a highly competitive honor,” Jan Figa, director of Schewe Library, said. “The program is open to all librarians with less than five years of professional experience; it’s a class comprised of several thousand people, yet only up to 50 are selected. From a professional career-building perspective, this is akin to having your first article published in a prestigious journal.”

The Emerging Leaders program gets started at the ALA Midwinter Meeting in January and then develops into an online learning and networking environment for six months. The program will wrap up with a poster session presentation displaying the results of the project planning work of each group at the ALA Annual Conference.

“As a 2013 Emerging Leader, I will have the opportunity to represent Schewe Library and Illinois College at the ALA Midwinter Conference in Seattle this January as well as at the Annual Conference in Chicago this coming summer,” Thomas said. “I hope to represent both my library colleagues at Schewe Library as well as the wider IC community, and I plan to apply what I learn to my initiatives and goals here at the library in order to help promote and advance IC's mission and goals.”

Thomas graduated in 2008 from Iowa State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in art and design with an emphasis on history and theory, and a minor in English Literature. She went on to get her master’s degree in library and information science at the University of Iowa in 2011. Thomas has been a librarian at Illinois College for one year.
 

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