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SSLLI Overview


The primary goal of the Institute is to assist in preparing library leaders to provide the highest quality library services to the citizens of Florida, in the most effective and innovative manner, in order to meet today's needs and tomorrow's challenges.

The Institute objectives are to:

  • Develop diverse leaders who can serve in library leadership roles at local, regional, state and national levels. 
  • Retain staff currently working in the library and information management professions by re-energizing them and helping them develop new leadership skills.
  • Develop leaders with the skills to replace those who retire.
  • Build collaborative networks within the library community across the state that are sustained over time. 
  • Establish professional support systems using recognized leaders as mentors.

Participant outcomes

The Sunshine State Library Leadership Institute will improve your ability to:

  • Understand your own talents and how to most effectively use them as a leader.
  • Move from managing to leading people.
  • Formulate, articulate and communicate a vision that inspires others to act.
  • Prepare for and address current crises with a focus on the future. 
  • Develop public and private partnerships with other agencies and community-based organizations.
  • Identify and solve existing but unaddressed problems within your library. 
  • Target library services to individuals of diverse geographic, cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds; to individuals with disabilities; and to individuals with limited functional literacy or information skills.
  • Target library and information services to persons having difficulty using a library and to underserved urban and rural communities, including children from families with incomes below the poverty line. 
  • Increase the level of visibility and value of the library within your broader community. 

Four professional development foundations

The Sunshine State Library Leadership Institute is built on four professional development foundations:

  1. Core Leadership Competencies
  2. Shared Learning Experiences
  3. Practical Application Assignments
  4. Formal Mentoring

Foundation 1: Core Leadership Competencies

  • Leads Projects
  • Develops Self and Others
  • Sets Direction
  • Leads Groups
  • Leads Change
  • Empowers Others to Act
  • Builds and Sustains Relationships
  • Project and Leadership Sustainability

Foundation 2: Shared Learning Experiences

Institute activities include self-assessments, partner sharing, small and large group discussions, and one-on-one engagement with your mentor.

Involvement in the planned classroom activities, interactions with your mentor, completion of assignments, and completion of a project that includes other individuals will be essential for your successful professional development.

Foundation 3: Practical Application Assignments

To ensure deeper integration and lasting retention of newly learned knowledge, skills, and abilities, you will receive assignments to complete on your own, at your workplace, or within your local community.

Foundation 4: Formal Mentoring

You will develop a professional relationship with your mentor, whose primary role is to serve as an advisor, confidant, teacher, resource, sponsor and cheerleader.

Over the 10-month period, you are expected to work with your mentor to refine your leadership knowledge, skills, and abilities, and to draw on your mentor as one of many resources to complete your leadership project.


The Institute awards certificates to participants who successfully meet the established criteria.

Certificate of Accomplishment

  • Attends all leadership sessions (exceptions are made for excused absences)
  • Completes all practical application assignments
  • Completes leadership project

Certificate of Attendance

  • Attends at least eight leadership sessions
  • Completes at least eight of the 10 practical application assignments
  • Completes leadership project

Institute curriculum

The Institute's curriculum is designed by the faculty members. It includes required and recommended readings, practical application assignments, and topic-specific content to guide lectures and discussions.

For FY2023-24, the percentage of total costs for the Sunshine State Library Leadership Institute financed with federal money is 67%; the federal dollar amount to be spent on the program is $70,734. This program does not include any non-governmental funding.

imls180.for.panel.jpgMany of these resources and programs are funded under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Florida's LSTA program is administered by the Department of State's Division of Library and Information Services.