Library Initiative Seeks Service Innovation through Technology and Collaboration

Augusta - Librarians throughout Maine will be engaged in a year-long project to develop and implement best practices to address specific needs within their communities.

Sponsored by the Maine State Library and modeled on a national continuing education program of the same name, the Innovative Librarians Explore, Apply and Discover (ILEAD) Initiative utilizes technology and leadership training to solve problems and strengthen the partnership between the libraries and the communities they serve.

“ILEAD is helping Maine librarians create new service models that utilize technology and strategic partnerships,” said James Ritter, Maine State Librarian. “Their work will leverage the resources of their respective communities to address a shared goal.”

Four ILEAD project proposals were announced this month and teams comprised of library staff, mentors, instructors and community members will begin their work in March. Each team will develop a single group project that addresses at least one identified need within their communities of users. Participants will use the skills and training acquired through ILEAD continuing education sessions to develop, implement, manage and evaluate the projects. Along the way, each team member will work with a library patron or community member to solicit feedback and refine the proposal.

2015 Maine ILEAD Project Teams

Tech Resources for Seniors: will focus on providing seniors with technology and training to access online resources for health, wellness and other information. Project team members include Janet Bolduc (Central Maine Medical Center Library), Mamie Anthoine Ney (Auburn Public Library), Ruby Jones (Lewiston Public Library), Michelle Conroy (Bethel Public Library), and Katherine R. Morgan (Norway Memorial Library).

Axis of Access: will work on addressing bandwidth and hardware issues that inhibit access to online higher education for rural Mainers. Project team members include Shiva Darbandi (University of Maine, Augusta), Sue McClintock (Vose Library, Union), Linda Menard (TAMC Health Sciences Library), Sonja Plummer Morgan (Mark and Emily Turner Memorial Library, Presque Isle) and Lisa Neal Shaw (Caribou Public Library).

Civil and Social Engagement in Maine: will develop a moderated online space for community engagement. Project team members include Samantha Soucy (Portland Public Library), Sonya Durney (Portland Public Library), Anita Ruff (Maine Health Learning Resource Center), Janell Lewis (Maine Health Learning Resource Center), and Denise Menard (Scarborough Public Library).

ILEAD MDI: will create a guided, single-site research experience for students, teachers, tech coordinators, library media specialists and public librarians which will be a model for future school/public library collaboration. Project team members include Lisa Murray (Southwest Harbor Public Library), Clara Baker (Bass Harbor Memorial Library), Siobhan Ryan (Conners-Emerson School, Bar Harbor), and Davonne Pappas (MDI High School, Mt. Desert).

The ILEAD Maine project is directed by the Maine State Library’s Library Development Division and is an IMLS sub-grant through the Illinois State Library.

For more information about the ILEAD initiative, contact the Maine State Library at 207-287-5620 or visit