Concurrent Program Session

Aspen Institute’s “Rising to the Challenge: Re-Envisioning Public Libraries” in Action

Thursday, April 7, 2016, 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Colorado Convention Center, Room Mile High Ballroom 3-4

“Rising to the Challenge: Re-Envisioning Public Libraries,” developed by the Aspen Institute and funded by the Gates Foundation, presents a framework for library transformation in the 21st century. Learn how the report and the newly released Action Guide are being used to initiate thoughtful conversations with policy makers, government officials at all levels, library supporters, and library systems.

At the end of this session, participants will:

1: Understand key components of the report.
2: Brainstorm/identify ideas to use report in participants' communities.
3: Be aware of how report is being used in various library settings.

The session organizer(s) identified this session as appropriate for:
Level 2: People with some knowledge, who want to increase their understanding.

This session will have: Medium interaction: single speaker/panel with questions or audience participation throughout

Handouts: Download 1   Download 2  

Track: Imagine

Tags: Administration/Management, Administration and Management, Innovation, Organizational Change, Partnerships, Transforming Libraries


Susan Hildreth, Executive Director
Peninsula Library System/Califa Group, San Mateo, CA

In March 2015, Susan Hildreth became the Executive Director, Peninsula Library System, Pacific Library Partnership and Califa. She also serves as an Aspen Fellow in the Communications and Society Program. She served as Director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services from January 2011 through January 2015. She was the city librarian of Seattle and San Francisco Public Libraries, the state librarian of California,held other leadership positions in California public libraries.

Gina Millsap, Chief Executive Officer
Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library, Topeka, KS

Gina Millsap is the CEO of the Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library. She has 40 years of experience in public libraries. She has been working with the Aspen Institute Report for the past 18 months in her own community and presenting it in several others. She is a Dialogue Expert for Library Vision, based on the Aspen Institute's Action Guide for Re-Envisioning Your Library.

Kendall Wiggin, State Librarian
Connecticut State Library, Hartford, CT

Mr. Wiggin has served as Connecticut State Librarian since October 1998. He has served on a variety of boards and commissions. Currently he serves on the Governor's Executive Information Technology Strategy and Investment Committee; the Commission on Educational Technology among others. He is active with the Chief Officers of State Library Agencies (COSLA) where he serves as president. He has served the American Library Association in many capacities including as an ALA Councilor.

Cindy Fesemyer, Director
Columbus Public Library, Columbus, WI

Librarianship is Cindy Fesemyer's second career, following 14 years in nonprofit administration and community organizing. Upon her 2012 graduation from UW-Madison SLIS, Cindy was pleased as punch to accept the position of Library Director at the Columbus Public Library in Wisconsin. Turns out community engagement is much more fun and effective as a public librarian, so she's never looking back.

Dawn La Valle, Director, Division of Library Development
Connecticut State Library, ,

Dawn La Valle is the Director of the Division of Library Development for the Connecticut State Library. Under her leadership the Division provides consulting, professional development training and statewide services that enhance Connecticut libraries' abilities to deliver high-quality library service to their communities. Dawn is Immediate Past President of the Connecticut Library Association, and currently serves as Co-Chair, Access to Justice Commission: Workgroup on Libraries and Access to Justice in CT.

Maria Carpenter, Director of Library Services
Santa Monica (CA) Public Library, ,

Maria Carpenter is Director of Libraries in Santa Monica, CA where she oversees a $12.7 million budget, 210 employees, and five libraries. Formerly, she was Director of Libraries for the City of Somerville, MA and Director of Advancement for Northeastern University Libraries. She is an ALA Councilor-At-Large and completed her MLIS at the University of Pittsburgh and her B.A. at Ohio Wesleyan. She is an ALA Spectrum Scholar and is pursuing her doctorate at Simmons.

Amy Garmer, Director, Dialogue on Public Libraries
The Aspen Institute, Communications and Society Program, Washington, DC

For questions about…

Cancellation Policy

Written cancellations, requests for refunds, and/or changes will be accepted until February 26, 2016, and are subject to a $30 handling fee. Refunds will be processed after April 25, 2016. According to PLA policy, all meal events require preregistration. The above cancellation/change information also applies to all preconferences, meal events, and tours.

The PLA 2016 Conference is offered on a cost-recovery basis. PLA reserves the right to cancel all or any part of this event if there is insufficient registration or for other reasons. Neither ALA nor PLA is responsible for cancellation charges assessed by the airlines or travel agencies, or other losses incurred due to the cancellation of the workshops. All information listed on this website is subject to change.


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Registration & Housing

Onsite registration hours are Tuesday, April 5, 7:30 AM–5:00 PM; Wednesday, April 6, 7:30 AM–6:30 PM; Thursday, April 7, 7:30 AM–5:30 PM; Friday, April 8, 7:30 AM–4:00 PM; and Saturday, April 9, 8:00–10:00 AM. Conference registration and housing is managed by Experient. Call or e-mail your questions, 800-424-5249 (U.S. and Canada), 847-996-5829 (all other countries), or Experient representatives are available Monday–Friday, 9:00 AM–5:00 PM Eastern. PLA Conference is a professional event. It is not open to the public.


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