New England Library Leadership Symposium (NELLS)

The purpose of this symposium is to foster the mentoring and development of leaders in state and regional library associations. NELLS was created through a cooperative effort of the New England Library Association and all six New England state library associations. First held in 2003, subsequent NELLS events have taken place in 2005, 2008, 2011, and 2013.

The next NELLS program will take place August 3-7, 2015 at Rolling Ridge Retreat and Conference Center in North Andover, MA. Click here for a complete list of 2015 students and mentors.

Who can attend?
NELLS students will be library professionals, paraprofessionals, or volunteers (trustees, friends, etc.) in mid-career (3-15 years experience in or with libraries). The attendees may be recommended by someone or may make their own application for this leadership training. Each student must be a member of his or her state library association or NELA in order to apply.

What does it cost?
There is a nominal cost to the student to participate in the Symposium. NELA and all six state associations are financially supporting NELLS to keep the costs low for the Symposium attendees. There may also be scholarships available from your state association.

What is taught?
The curriculum covers the following areas:

  • getting to know your leadership style
  • interpersonal communication
  • presentation skills
  • managing differences
  • risk taking
  • the library within the community
  • using power and influence
  • understanding libraries as organizational systems
  • transforming libraries
  • the leader as a catalyst for change
  • the leader’s role as coach and mentor
  • achieving your potential

Attendees develop an action plan for their future commitments.

State Representatives
For more information about NELLS, contact your state representative:

Past Participants
A spreadsheet of past participants is available here.

The next opportunity to apply will be in the spring of 2017. Please download, complete the application form and return along with three letters of recommendation.
NELLS Application Form

New England Library Leadership Symposium Committee
Mary Etter
South Windsor Public Library
South Windsor, CT
Krista McLeod
New England Library Leadership Symposium Committee
Krista McLeod
Nevins Memorial Library
Methuen, MA