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PINNACLE class of ‘17 includes 23 librarians

GPLS News, October 2016

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Georgia Public Library Service (GPLS) has selected 23 Georgia librarians to participate in the 2016-2017 class of PINNACLE, the agency’s comprehensive leadership program.

“This intensive, yearlong series of training events is specially designed to address all aspects of library work in the 21st century, as we face new challenges, technologies and community expectations,” said State Librarian Julie Walker. “Georgia’s public libraries are seeking a new generation of leaders, and there are — and will continue to be — many opportunities in the state for our PINNACLE graduates.”

Working with the Carl Vinson Institute of Government (CVIOG), another unit of the University System of Georgia, GPLS designed and held the first sessions of the vigorous training program, the name of which is short for the Public Library Institute for New and Creative Leadership Education, in 2007. More than half of those graduates have gone on to serve as library system directors.

The second PINNACLE class wraps up this month with a graduation ceremony that coincides with the Georgia Council of Media Organizations Annual Conference in Athens.

“The 2015-2016 class was the first time in eight years that we were able to offer this course,” explained Wendy Cornelisen, assistant state librarian for library innovation and collaboration. “We were so impressed by the depth of our pool of candidates that we realized there were enough need and demand for a 2016-2017 class that could start right after the current one ends.”

Members of the coming year’s PINNACLE class will include: Cameron Asbell, director of the Vidalia-based Ohoopee Regional Library; Stacy Brown, director of the Conyers-Rockdale Library System; Wanda Brown, assistant director of the Dougherty County Public Library; Natalie Couch, branch manager of the Chattahoochee Valley Libraries’ South Columbus Public Library; Jennie Feinberg, assistant director of technical services for the Augusta- Richmond County Library System; Mack Freeman, marketing and programming coordinator for the Carrollton-based West Georgia Regional Library; Teryn Gilliam, library branch group manager and adult services coordinator for the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library (AFPL) System; Angela Glowcheski, public services librarian for Sequoyah Regional Library System in Canton; Swalena Griffin, senior librarian at AFPL; Stephanie Irvin, outreach librarian for the Georgia Libraries for Accessible Statewide Services; and Deborah Jackson, regional manager for the Cobb County Public Library System.

Also participating in this year’s class will be: Delana Knight, director of the Northeast Georgia Regional Library in Clarkesville; James O’Neal, affiliate services librarian for the Macon-based Middle Georgia Regional Library System; Margaret Penn, division director of branch services for the Gwinnett County Public Library (GCPL); Brenda Poku, regional area coordinator for LOPL; Sarah Reynolds, collection development manager for the Forsyth County Public Library; Scott Routsong, director of the Brooks County Public Library; Tamika Strong, IT program manager for GPLS; Andrew Vickers, assistant director of Peach Public Libraries in Fort Valley; Marie Vielot, library manager for the Coweta County Public Library’s Grantville and Senoia branches; Tracy Walker, youth services librarian for the Chestatee Regional Library System in Dawsonvile; CaseyWallace, training manager for GCPL; and Mary Young, administrative services librarian for the Madison-based Uncle Remus Regional Library System.

PINNACLE 2016-17 will include seven sessions, starting with a weeklong retreat this month in Cordele and continuing with six three-day sessions to be held every other month at various public libraries across the state. Topics will include analytical and creative problem solving, planning and process improvement, managing change, financial management, performance measures, human resource management, ethical use of power, conflict resolution, coaching and group dynamics, media relations, leadership in a political environment and delivering effective presentations.

PINNACLE participants must hold a master of library science or a master of information science degree, be currently employed in a public library in Georgia and have at least two years of professional library experience.

“These current and future leaders of public libraries represent the best and brightest from all across the state,” Cornelisen said, “and our 2016-17 class has the depth of experience to bring many unique perspectives to the current challenges that are facing the library community.”