2014 SLJ Public Library Leadership Think Tank

Thank you for your interest in the SLJ Leadership Think Tank. We’re taking a little time off and will not be hosting this event in 2015. Please check back next year for updates!

SLJ’s second annual day-long leadership event dedicated to those innovating children’s services in public libraries focused on trends and issues in Children’s Services. This free event, held at Nashville Public Library tapped thought leaders, authors and top children’s and teen librarians and their directors from across the nation to engage with one another in an intimate but intensive exchange of expertise, leadership strategies, and best practices.

2014 theme “Accelerating Your Impact” explored:
Outcomes vs outputs and what that means for understanding the power of the services libraries deliver
What thinking about “impact” means for shaping and driving Summer Reading and other program development
How to articulate the library’s impact to stakeholders at
every table
How to foster innovation through effective staff development that grows management skills toward thought leadership from the Children’s room and out into the community


Programming highlights include:

Keynote by Gretchen Caserotti, Director,
Meridian Library District (ID)

Expert Panel:Summer Reading that Counts:From Community Engagement to Student Impact

How impact, from the children’s room out into the community, translates into real numbers – not just the number of readers signed up for the summer reading program, but the important ones, like the percentage of participants now reading at grade level or higher, the increase in materials borrowed from the library, and the foot count level after summer reading is over. Attendees will walk away with tools to implement effective and measureable summer reading programs.

Moderated by:
Lindsey Patrick, Main Library Children’s Services Manager, Nashville Public Library, TN

Elizabeth McChesney, Director Children and YA Services, Chicago Public Library, IL
Kathy Shahbodaghi, Public Services Director, Columbus Metropolitan Library, OH

A special appearance by Ruta Sepetys, author,
Out of the Easy


Attendees had the opportunity to learn more about the Limitless Libraries project and explore innovative learning spaces such as the library’s Makerspace and the newly opened Music Education Center at the Country Music Hall of Fame. These new spaces, in the center of downtown Nashville, support out of school learning; safe places for children, tweens, and teens to hang out; and rich environments for teaching artists and mentors to interact in engaging spaces where kids not only consume media but learn how to create it.



Nashville Public Library
615 Church Street
Nashville, TN 37219

April 25, 2014
8:30 AM-5:00 PM

Gretchen Caserotti Gretchen Caserotti
Director, Meridian Library District (ID)
Elizabeth McChesney
Lindsey Patrick
Ruta Sepetys
Kathy Shahbodaghi


SLJ Hotel Group Block
School Library Journal Group at the Renaissance Nashville Hotel
611 Commerce Street,
Nashville, TN

Online or 1-800-Marriott

Group name:
School Library Journal
Group Code: MSBMSBA

Rates: $199.00
(only available Thursday, April 24, 2014 due to a city wide event succeeding the Think Tank)

Hotel Rate Cut Off:
April 3, 2013
(before 5:00 pm EST)

Sponsored By:


The participants at the SLJ Public Think Tank are those taking leadership in creating strong and effective programs and libraries, and envisioning the future vitality of libraries to best serve our communities. This includes but is not necessarily limited to: public library children’s librarians, public library teen services librarians, school librarians in close collaboration with public libraries, and public library directors. SLJ‘s definition of a leader is shaped by accomplishment and outlook as much as title or affiliation. If you know someone else who should be included, let SLJ‘s editor-in-chief Rebecca Miller know who they are and why they should be invited.

SLJ’s commitment to diversity
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