School of Information Studies (iSchool) alumnus Juan Rivera G’16 has been named to the American Library Association’s (ALA) Emerging Leaders class for 2018. 

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.,” said Maureen Sullivan and Audrey Barbakoff, co-chairs of the Emerging Leaders program.

Only 50 participants are selected for the program each year.

Rivera is a library media specialist at the A. Philip Randolph Campus High School in New York City.

“Our library is the brain and the heart of the school,” said Rivera. “It was recently renovated, and is now used for special events, classes, studying and of course, reading. It’s one of the important places where students can exercise choice and learn by following their passions and interests.”

“Some interesting things I’ve done over the past two years include developing the manga and LGBTQ collection, further integrating the school library with the New York Public Library, and planning a family literacy night,” Rivera explained. “I’ve been able to make a lot of this possible through establishing several DonorsChoose campaigns.”

This past fall, Rivera was appointed to the New York State Regents Advisory Council on Libraries. Council members work with officers of the State Education Department in developing comprehensive statewide library and information policy, and make recommendations to the Regents. 

“Syracuse really taught me the importance of developing a personal learning network and working with people who have different talents,” Rivera said.  “For this reason, I am excited to be a part of ALA’s Emerging Leaders program, especially since I will need to have a bird’s-eye view of all kinds of libraries as a member of the Regents Advisory Council.”  

The Emerging Leaders program begins with a day-long session during the ALA’s Midwinter Meeting in Denver in February.  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 2018 with a poster session where participants will showcase the results of their project planning work during the ALA’s Annual Conference in New Orleans.