Thirteen distinguished library directors in Tennessee graduated from the Public Library Management Institute recently, increasing their knowledge and understanding of the unique role libraries fulfill in their communities.
Janet Walker, director of Southern Cheatham Public Library, was one of the graduates.
“I’m proud of Ms. Walker for going the extra mile to get this training,” Representative Phillip Johnson said. “That type of dedication is what defines a public servant.”
Secretary of State Tre Hargett applauds Ms. Walker for her commitment to the success of public libraries.
“I commend Ms. Walker on this accomplishment,” Secretary Hargett said. “Our public libraries are more than places to check out books. Libraries also provide valuable services such as job training and Internet access. Cheatham Countians are fortunate to have a library director willing to demonstrate the additional commitment needed for our libraries to reach even greater heights.”
The Public Library Management Institute, started in 1995, is a three-year program for library directors who do not have master’s degrees. 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.
“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.”
“This management course gives library directors the tools they need to help transform their libraries into community hubs,” said Wendy Cornelisen, who coordinated the most recent training program for the Tennessee State Library and Archives.
Including the 13 most recent graduates, the program has graduated 157 people since its founding.