University News

Librarian Selected to Take Part in Prestigious ILEAD USA

January 25, 2013

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MACOMB, IL – Western Illinois University Libraries' Marketing and Outreach Librarian Tammy Sayles has been selected to take part in a prestigious year-long program designed to help library staff understand and respond to user needs through the application of participatory technology tools and the creation of an easy-to-replicate model program. The Illinois State Library (a division of the office of Secretary of State and State Librarian Jesse White) received a Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services to implement "Innovative Librarians Explore, Apply and Discover," or ILEAD USA.

Along with other participants from Illinois (as well as from Iowa, Colorado, Utah and Ohio), Sayles will take part in three four-day sessions over the course of the next nine months. She said the first session is slated for March 25-28.

"In the program, teams identify a single group project of the team's design. The project will address at least one identified library patron need. For example, a project could address and meet a community-related economic development need," she explained. "Teams use the skills and training acquired throughout the sessions to develop, implement, manage and evaluate the project. The ILEAD USA participants are assisted by instructors and mentors who provide instruction and guidance during the course of the sessions," she said.

The Illinois State Library also facilitated ILEAD U (Illinois Libraries Explore, Apply and Discover), another successful continuing education initiative. ILEAD USA is an expansion of the ILEAD U program.

According to Sayles, other ILEAD USA sessions will be held June 17-20 and Oct. 21-24. Sessions will be held simultaneously in each of the five states, with plenary sessions on streaming video. In-person sessions, virtual meetings and activities will allow participants to hone their skills, experiment with participatory technology tools and continue communications with other ILEAD USA participants.

"I am excited about the opportunity to participate in ILEAD USA as a mentor, and I am looking forward to working with my team to complete a successful group project," she said. "During and after the program, my hope is to be able to apply some what I have learned in my position as marketing and outreach librarian at Western Illinois University Libraries."

For more information, contact Sayles at (309) 298-3298 or via email at

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