School of Information Studies (iSchool) alumna Shannon DeSantis G’13 has been named to the American Library Association’s (ALA) Emerging Leaders class for 2017. 

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

“This year’s class joins a distinguished group of alumni, many of whom have made significant contributions to ALA in the past ten years of this program,” said Maureen Sullivan and Audrey Barbakoff, co-chairs of the Emerging Leaders program.

Only 50 participants are selected for the program each year.

DeSantis is a library media specialist at Peoples Academy in Morrisville, Vermont, serving grades 5-12.

“My time at People’s Academy has truly helped me grow as a librarian,” said DeSantis. “Throughout my four years of teaching, I have worn many hats as a solo librarian – I have had the privilege of teaching middle school classes and high school instruction sessions; facilitating two reading incentive programs; hosting book clubs and a maker club; administering book fairs; and supporting students and teachers with technology; and as always, getting books into the hands of my students.” 

This school year DeSantis has been focusing her efforts on how the role of the librarian will fit into her school’s transition to proficiency-based learning and personalized learning plans.

“I am looking forward to being a part of the ALA Emerging Leaders program this year, it will be an honor to represent the Vermont School Library Association as part of this group,” said DeSantis. “I am excited to collaborate with fellow early career library professionals, making connections with leaders in ALA, and traveling to Atlanta and Chicago.”

The Emerging Leaders program begins with a day-long session during the ALA’s Midwinter Meeting in Atlanta at the end of January.  Following the kickoff session, which includes orientation and training, the program will continue in an online learning and networking environment for six months.  The program culminates in June 2017 with a poster session where participants will showcase the results of their project planning work during the ALA’s Annual Conference in Chicago.