News Release

Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners

DATE: October 14, 2008
CONTACT: Celeste Bruno
Communications Specialist
1-800-952-7403 x208

Hagar Shirman named ALA Emerging Leader

Hagar Shirman, Program Manager for Libraries for the Future's (LFF) EqualAccess, has been named an American Library Association (ALA) 2009 Emerging Leader. In its third year, ALA's Emerging Leaders program enables more than 100 librarians from across the country to participate in project planning workgroups, network with peers, gain an inside look into ALA structure, and have an opportunity to serve the profession in a leadership capacity. She has been part of the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners' (MBLC) staff since February 2008.

Hagar Shirman will join other 2009 Emerging Leaders in Denver for the program kick-off.

Hagar Shirman will join other 2009 Emerging Leaders in Denver for the program kick-off.

"I am honored to have been selected for this unique opportunity and happy to have the MBLC and LFF support my professional development to such a degree."

Ms. Shirman was nominated for the honor by MBLC Director Robert C. Maier, "Hagar's commitment, enthusiasm and energy for librarianship are among the greatest I have seen in a long time. The opportunity to engage with ALA at the beginning of her career will not only enhance her capacity for leadership in our profession; but it also offers the greater opportunity to the Association to gain a new voice for libraries."

The 2009 Emerging Leader program kicks off with a daylong session during the 2009 ALA Midwinter Meeting in Denver. The program will develop an online learning and networking environment for six months and will culminate with a poster session presentation to display the results of the project planning work at the 2009 Annual Conference in Chicago. Participants commit to participating in all aspects of the program, and will have an opportunity to serve on one of the following: an ALA Division, Chapter, or Round Table committee, taskforce or workgroup upon completion of program.

Ms. Shirman, who is fluent in Spanish, is a certified trainer for Webjunction's Spanish Language Outreach (SLO) workshops in Massachusetts. She recently collaborated with MBLC Deputy Director/ Head of Library Development Nancy Rea as well as former EqualAccess Program Manager Eleanor Stafford, and MBLC Consultant to the Unserved Shelley Quezada to conduct the SLO workshops across the Commonwealth. She was featured in a 2007 Trainer Profile in Webjunction for this work. Ms. Shirman earned a Masters in Library and Information Science from Simmons College in Boston.

EqualAccess trains public librarians in the skills needed for developing community responsive programs and services, for one of three target populations: youth, health consumers, and Baby-boomers and beyond. For more information visit:

For a complete list of ALA 2009 Emerging Leaders please click here.

About MBLC

The Board of Library Commissioners ( is the agency of state government with the statutory authority and responsibility to organize, develop, coordinate and improve library services throughout the Commonwealth. The Board advises municipalities and library trustees on the operation and maintenance of public libraries, including construction and renovation. It administers state and federal grant programs for libraries and promotes cooperation among all types of libraries through regional library systems and automated resource sharing. It also works to ensure that all residents of the Commonwealth, regardless of their geographic location, social or economic status, age, level of physical or intellectual ability or cultural background, have access to essential new electronic information technologies and significant electronic databases.

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