Hensley is an information literacy specialist at Calvert Elementary School. The 2014 program took place June 15-18 at the Montserrat Retreat Center in Lake Dallas.
The Texas Library Association’s (TLA) Leadership Development Committee oversees the program. Across the state, the program is better known as the TALL Texans Leadership Development Institute. The committee also works with the American Library Association’s (ALA) Emerging Leaders program.
Selection to take part in the leadership program is competitive. Hensley was one of several chosen from the greater Houston area and the only one from Aldine ISD selected to attend the annual four-day summer leadership institute.
Mentors at the 2014 Institute included current and past leaders of TLA and ALA.
“I had a blast at the institute,” Hensley said. ” This was such a great experience. My head is full of ideas. I have been reflecting on my notes and developing plans. I also never thought I would have the opportunity to get to know the TLA president and president-elect as well as a past ALA president.
“I met so many great people and learned more about myself and the ways I can make a difference to my school and others in our district.”
The TALL Texans Leadership Development Institute provides advanced leadership education. The institute covers professional issues and the latest information on leadership. Topics covered included management, strategic planning and communication.
Participants in the Institute will continue to develop their leadership skills through hands-on activities. There is a two-year commitment on the part of the participants. During that time, each participant must develop and put in place a Personal Action Agenda. Participants will receive help on their agendas from the Leadership Development Committee.
“The objective is to develop relationships with the communities we serve,” said Hensley. “Many folks still think of the ‘traditional’ library where you can check out books. Today, librarians use so many tools. I can share information about technology and techniques that can better help folks understand how to research more effectively. My Agenda will be to let my community be more aware of this. Libraries have come a long way from 20 and 30 years ago. And I am here to help.”
For her Agenda, Hensley has chosen to work with teachers. She will help select books, tools and resources that will enhance teaching and learning. She is also having teachers use Google Docs. This will improve collaboration so Hensley can better assist the teachers.
Hensley also hopes work with the school board members.
“We are really fortunate in Aldine ISD to have a school board that values and supports school libraries,” said Hensley. “The board members are our local champions of libraries. With their support, I would like to create learning opportunities for students and members of the community.”
For more information about the TALL Texans Leadership Development Institute, visit TLA’s website.
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