Joey Rodger Leadership Award

ULC's Joey Rodger Leadership Award offers directors or senior managers an opportunity to develop their leadership skills.

The ULC Joey Rodger Leadership Award, in the amount of $5,000, provides a director or senior manager of a ULC member library with an opportunity to strengthen his/her skills through a structured professional development undertaking. The award may be used to attend an established leadership development program or pursue an individualized program that involves working with a leadership development expert/mentor. 

The ULC Leadership Award enables the recipient to advance his/her knowledge and skills to be a high-performance leader in the 21st century with emphasis on these themes:

  • The qualities and characteristics of transformative leadership in the 21st century;
  • The risks and rewards of public sector leadership today;
  • Developing an organizational culture of leadership, including the stewardship of tomorrow’s leaders;
  • Exercising powerful leadership inside the library and outside in the community; and
  • Leading through stories that demonstrate the impact of libraries on the well-being of people and communities.

Reflections from Joey Rodger Leadership Award honorees:

    quoteI encourage ULC leaders to apply for the Joey Rodger Leadership Award! Using this award to enroll in the Strategic Foresight Workshop at the University of Houston has been a turning point in my professional life. Engaging in a cross-disciplinary leadership program, especially this program, taught me that there is an organized and systematic way to deal with the future. I look at library leadership differently after this experience, chiefly that the question we should be asking is not “What does the future of the library look like?” rather, “How do we re-structure our organizations to better manage constant disruptive change so we can continue to deliver whatever our citizens need and want?”   -Corinne Hill, Executive Director, Chattanooga Public Library, TN

    quoteHaving the luxury of spending a sustained period of time engaged in personal reflection, networking with leaders outside the library profession and hearing from nationally-known teachers was an incredible gift…this program [Brookings Institution’s Leadership Lab] left me with more questions than answers – and food for thought for a long time to come.”   -Cindy Lombardo, Deputy Director and COO, Cleveland Public Library, OH

    quoteConsider your current, on-the-edge thoughts and who or what could help you explore them more deeply. Is there a thought-leader or innovator you’d like to work closely with in order to investigate your intrigue and create useful products, new services or other helpful tools to inform libraries?”   -Tony Tallent, Director of Literacy & Learning, Richland Library, SC

The ULC Joey Rodger Leadership Award, honors ULC’s first full-time chief executive officer and president who served the organization from 1992-2004, overseeing its expansion as the premier North American membership association for leading urban library systems.

For more information about the Joey Rodger Leadership Award, please contact Katherine Behrens, 202-750-8652.

Past ULC Joey Rodger Leadership Awardees include:

  • Paula Brehm Heeger, Service Operations Manager, Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County
  • Edward Melton, Chief of Branches, San Francisco Public Library
  • Lisa Wells, Assistant Director for Library Services, Pioneer Library System
  • Corinne Hill, Executive Director, Chattanooga Public Library
  • Cindy Lombardo, Deputy Director & COO, Cleveland Public Library
  • Tony Tallent, Director of Literacy & Learning, Richland Library
  • Asante Cain, Reference & Adult Services Coordinator, Grand Rapids Public Library
  • Hampton M. “Skip” Auld, Director, Durham County Library
  • Norice Lee, Mngr., Dorris Van Doren Reg. Branch, El Paso Public Library
  • Debbie Moss, Assistant Director, Orange County Library System
  • Anne Masters, Assoc. Director for System Services, Pioneer Library System