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Georgia public librarians graduated from PINNACLE program

GPLS News, October 2017

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On Oct. 6, during a special ceremony held at the Georgia Libraries Conference in Columbus, 22 of Georgia’s public librarians graduated from the Public Library Institute for New and Creative Leadership Education program, or PINNACLE as it is better known.

PINNACLE was designed by Georgia Public Library Service (GPLS) and the Carl Vinson Institute for Government at the University of Georgia (CVIOG) to prepare public librarians to move into leadership positions within their organizations and provide additional training and instruction for those already in these positions.

“PINNACLE unlocked my potential to become a great leader and to be the catalyst to unlock the potential of both my staff and patrons,” said Marie Vielot, library manager with the Coweta County Public Library System and graduate. “It was a life-altering experience that I will cherish for all my days.”

The participants in the program spend a vigorous year on multilayered projects and in group training sessions where their ideas and styles of leadership and management are not only refined, but challenged. 

Tracy Walker, youth services coordinator with the Chestatee Regional Library System and a graduate as well, had her own positive takeaways from the program.  “I learned so much from our experience and feel, because of it, I have grown significantly as a librarian. I am so grateful to have had this opportunity,” said Tracy.

On hand to offer congratulations and present the awards were Steve Wrigley, University System of Georgia chancellor; Stacy Jones, interim director of CVIOG; CVIOG Senior Public Service Associate Walt McBride; and Julie Walker, state librarian.

“I am especially proud of this year’s class and program,” said Walker. “We were able to continue the tradition of equipping our library leaders to address important issues facing our libraries and communities. I’m happy we were also able to strengthen our relationship with the Carl Vinson Institute.”

Thus far, over 60 public librarians have graduated from PINNACLE, many of whom go on to be directors at the local and state level or to other vital leadership positions. The class of 2017 is the third such class, with previous graduates in 2016 and 2008. 

As libraries continuously grow, adapt and serve as hubs of their communities, new leaders and thinkers regularly emerge. With this in mind, GPLS and CVIOG are committed to the partnership and the future of Georgia, so plans for a class of 2019 are well underway. Walker is confident the upcoming class will open exciting opportunities for librarians and libraries.

“Each PINNACLE class brings out the best and brightest library talent in Georgia. I have no doubt the next group will join their fellow graduates in driving their libraries ever forward and consistently defining them as primary community resources for knowledge, learning, and enlightenment.”