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In August, 24 library directors successfully completed the first year of the Public Library Institute. Of those 24, Lincoln County’s own public library director, Jillian Rael, was in attendance.
The Public Library Management Program, or PLMP, is an intensive training program that increases directors’ knowledge of library leadership and increases their understanding of the unique role libraries fulfill in their communities.
The Public Library Management Program and its annual weeklong Institute, started in 1995 is a three-year program for library directors who do not have master’s degrees in library science. The program is run by the Tennessee State Library and Archives. Each year, participants gather at Fall Creek Falls State Park for a week of intense training sessions and networking with fellow library directors in similar situations.
Participants are from small towns all over the state. Participants continue the work online throughout the year.
“Over the years of the program, library directors develop skills in public speaking, personnel management, using technology effectively and managing change, among other things,” State Librarian and Archivist Chuck Sherrill said.
“All of these skills are essential for guiding public libraries through their transition into the digital era.”
The program has graduated 157 people since its founding.