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The Advancing Public Library Leadership (APLL) Institute is a two-year certificate program designed to expand and advance the leadership capacity of public library CEOs and managers. The program is aimed at public library staff with leadership aspirations, with and without a professional degree, who meet at least one of the enrollment criteria.

A new cohort moves through the program every two years, participating in a combination of online courses and highly interactive classroom sessions together. The development of a rich learning environment with a network of peers is an important aspect of the program. The APLL Institute promotes a practice-based approach to public library leadership.

Each two-year cycle of APLL (pronounced "apple") includes four Intensives (three days of classroom sessions in May and October of both years) and four online courses leading up to the Intensives. The online courses (available in the Learn HQ platform) provide participants with a shared body of knowledge, covering themes related to organizational leadership and leading in the municipal environment. At each Intensive, and during the online courses, participants will meet and interact with some of Ontario’s public library leaders who generously participate as experts and role models.
The four Intensives have the following themes:

  • Owning your leadership
  • Organizational change
  • Succeeding in the municipal environment
  • Relentless communication.

Program Eligibility

Individuals accepted into the APLL Institute are expected to have a good understanding of the management of library services and operations, as indicated by at least one of the following:
  • A degree or diploma in library/information studies
  • An EXCEL certificate in managing a small public library, and/or
  • Current employment as Manager/Supervisor in an Ontario Public Library or in a position of being groomed for management/ supervisory responsibilities.

Important Information and Fees

The APLL Institute's two-year program consists of 10 online and in-person courses covering important topics in two leadership streams.

A Practice-Based Approach to Leadership

Learn about the nine practices that emphasize a leader’s responsibility for creating the conditions where others can be successful. 

APLL Graduates

The following information is intended to reflect the ways in which past participants have experienced and benefitted from 
participating in and graduation from the program.
“Thanks to the APLL program, I was able to successfully transition to the next level of library leadership (CEO).
The program gave me the confidence to take the next step, opened doors to new opportunities,
and solidified my leadership skills so that I could succeed once in my new role.
My learnings were not limited to the course work, but were further enhanced by
the extensive knowledge and varied experiences of my classmates.”