2014 SLJ Public Library Leadership Think Tank
9:00 – 9:30 am | Registration9:30 – 9:45 am | Welcome remarks
Rebecca T. Miller, Editorial Director, School Library Journal and Library Journal

9:45 – 10:45 am | Keynote
Gretchen Caserotti – Library Director, Meridian Library District (ID)

Developing the Next Generation of Leaders: Insights from the First Year in the Director’s Chair
Strong leadership is more important than ever as libraries morph to deliver better, more effective services in light of dramatic technological and social change. What does it take to become a leader? What do current library leaders need to do to foster smart growth in key staff? Speaking from her new perch as director of Meridian Library District, Gretchen Caserotti will reflect on what it takes to go from trainee to library director; how each setting—from New York Public Library to Darien Library to Meridian—shapes her thinking about skill development, leadership, connection to community needs, and the mission of the library; and what she has needed to learn to take the reins. She’ll reflect on how experimentation based on insight into key needs allows growth of an individual’s career, even as it stretches the capacity of library managers and informs the library’s impact.

10:45 – 11:15 am | Connecting to Broad Strategic Development
Denise R. Lyons, Director of Library Development, South Carolina State Library

11:15 – 11:30 am | Break

11:30 am – 12:15 pm | Nashville Public Library: Planning for Outcomes
Tricia Racke Bengel, Associate Director, NPL

12:15 – 1:00 pm | Walking Tour of Nashville Public Library Services
See the library’s maker space, children’s room, and more in action.

1:00 – 2:00 pm | Lunch

2:00 – 3:00 pm | Expert Panel: Summer Reading that Counts, from Community Engagement to Student Impact

We will look at 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

3:00 – 4:30 pm | Think Tank: Breakout to Dive Deep with Fellow Leaders to Explore Speeding Impact
Six key areas will be explored: Early Learning, Collections Strategy, Savvy Tech Strategy, Partnership Development, Summer Reading, School Collaboration

Table leaders include: Lisa Kropp, Kiera Parrott, Stephanie Ham and Alison Barney, and others to be named.

4:30 – 5:00 pm | Closing with Ruta Sepetys, author of Out of the Easy

5:00 – 5:30 pm | Reception and author signing by Ruta Sepetys, author of Out of the Easy

Sign Up Today


Nashville Public Library

615 Church Street

Nashville, TN 37219


April 25, 2014

8:30 AM-5:00 PM

Gretchen Caserotti Gretchen CaserottiDirector, 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.

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