Canadian Urban Libraries Council/Conseil des Bibliothèques Urbaines du Canada

Public Library Leaders Program

Public Library Leaders

formerly the Public Library Leadership Fellows program

Application Period: NOW OPEN – Fourth cohort will start October 2, 2018 in Calgary.

For more information on the PLLeaders program visit:

In the 21st Century, public libraries and their leaders will face unique issues that warrant focused thought, research, discussion and visioning. The Public Library Leaders (PLLeaders) program is about the future of public libraries and the changing communities they serve.

The goal of the PLLeaders program is to contribute to the vitality and success of public libraries and the diverse communities they serve well into the 21st century, by positioning public library professionals to be proactive, effective voices in the global information environment.

This program is designed to expose and engage library managers who have the desire and potential for highest levels of leadership in public libraries to themes, experiences and current leaders to augment their preparedness.

For more information on the PLLeaders program visit:


Every effort is being made to pair site visits with library conferences to assist in minimizing travel expenses for participants. Instruction hours will be offered in conjunction with site visits as well as online. The full instructional schedule will be provided after registration. The preliminary schedule has been established for 2018–2020:

  • Autumn 2018 – October 2 & 3 - Calgary
  • January 2019 with OLA Super Conference – GTA
  • Spring 2019 – Halifax, NS (TBD)
  • June 2019 with ALA – Washington, DC Area (TBD)
  • Fall 2019 – Lower Mainland BC
  • January 2020 with OLA Super Conference – GTA


  • Lita Barrie, Director, Collections and Digital Technology, Hamilton Public Library
  • Wendy Newman, Senior Fellow (retired), iSchool, University of Toronto
  • Rebecca Raven, CEO, Brampton Public Library
  • Ken Roberts, consultant and former CEO, Hamilton Public Library
  • Maureen Sawa, CEO, Greater Victoria Public Library
  • Glenn Cumming, CAO, Faculty of Information, University of Toronto

Ideal Candidate Profile

  • Nomination of employer (formal requirement)
  • CEO or executive-level aspirations
  • Management experience
  • Personal confidence
  • Self-awareness
  • Ability to identify personal learning and mentoring needs
  • Ability to research and write on library issues
  • Commitment to confidentiality and frankness within the Program

How to Apply

The PLLeaders program is designed for senior managers with a strong interest in pursuing Chief Executive and senior administrative positions in public libraries. Applicants should have the support of their current employer to participate in the program. The application submission must include:

  • Application form
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Statement of intent: describe in 500 words or less what you hope to achieve in participating in this program. What past experiences have prepared you to be successful in this endeavour and what unique qualities will you bring to the program?
  • Letter of support: provide a letter of support from a senior administrator/board member of your institution. The letter should indicate a full understanding of the time and financial commitment, if any, your home library is willing to undertake on your behalf. Additionally, the letter should provide an endorsement of your eventual candidacy to move into the ranks of senior library administration.

Tuition Fee: The fee for the 4th cohort will be $1,995 (plus HST). Multiple payment plan options are available. Please feel free to contact Jefferson to discuss what suits.
Application Period: Applications are now Open - link below.  New cohort to start October 2, 2018 in Calgary. 
Apply online: Registration Form (PDF)

For more information on the PLLeaders program visit:

For more information about registering for the program please contact CULC/CBUC’s Executive Director Jefferson Gilbert. 416-699-1938 or