Eureka! Leadership Institute Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the Eureka! Leadership Institute?
The Eureka! Leadership Institute is an intensive six-day residential leadership training program for California libraries. It is similar to the Aurora Leadership Institute (Australia) but incorporates a project component similar to the Urban Libraries Council's Executive Leadership Program.
2. Who can attend the Institute?
The Institute is designed to be most beneficial for those with MLS degrees who have between 3 and 10 years of professional experience. Participants must be employed by a California library and must be nominated by their library for admission. Those without an MLS degree or with less than 3 or more than 10 years of experience will be considered if nominated by their libraries. Libraries and applicants are cautioned, however, that applicants should be at an appropriate level in their personal and professional development to really benefit from the Institute.
3. Do you have to be employed by a library in order to attend the Institute? I'm an unemployed librarian/library school student/independent consultant.
Yes, you do have to be employed by a California library in order to attend the Institute. There are several reasons for this requirement, i.e.: you must be nominated and supported by a library; you must implement a project within a specific library context; you need to be within a library to practice the leadership behaviors you will learn at the Institute.
4. What is the selection process?
Selection is through a competitive process involving a written application that includes submission of a resume, three letters of recommendation, answers to essay questions, and a signed nomination from the library director.
5. How many people can attend the Institute?
6. Is the Institute open to all types of libraries?
Yes, it is open to employees from any California library.
7. When is the next Eureka! Leadership Institute?
The next Institute is expected to take place in February 2014.
8. Where is the Institute held?
At the Dolce Hayes Mansion in San Jose, CA.
9. Are the agenda and materials from the Institute available online?
No, the agenda and Institute materials are shared only with participants and mentors.
10. Who are the mentors?
The mentors are established library leaders who are willing to give their time to this process in order to nurture future leaders. Each Institute has eight mentors. The participants are divided into four learning groups, each of which is supported by two mentors.
11. Can current library directors apply?
Yes, with the proviso that they have been in a director's position for less than 10 years.
12. If a library director applies, who signs on behalf of the library?
The director can sign.
13. What is the project element associated with the Institute?
Each person admitted to the Institute must, in consultation with their library administration, select a significant project to work on over the course of the year following the Institute. The project should be something that makes the library more responsive to community needs, and must fall within California LSTA guidelines. The California State Library provides grant awards of up to $5,000 to support the projects.
14. Can you give us examples of suitable projects?
Yes, presentations from the projects developed by previous groups of Eureka! Fellows are available on the Eureka! website at http://eurekaleadership.org/institute/2008/anniversary or http://eurekaleadership.org/institute/2009/anniversary or http://eurekaleadership.org/content/2010-eureka-anniversary.
15. Are there limitations on the number of people who can apply from any given library?
No, but no more than 4 people from the same library will be admitted to the Institute because there are 4 learning groups and people from the same library cannot be in the same learning group. Every effort is made to balance Institute participants to insure equitable distribution geographically within the state. Larger libraries are encouraged to submit multiple applications, but also to go through some internal vetting process during which they will give careful consideration to how many projects they can support.
16. Can two people (from the same library) work on the same project?
Two people can submit the same project idea, and may ultimately end up both working on the project, but we cannot guarantee that both will be selected to participate in the Institute.
17. If a library had one or more participants who attended a previous Institute, will that count against them if they submit more applications for the next Institute?
No, each application will be judged on its own merit. If anything, having one or more participants who successfully completed a previous Institute and the project component would count in a library's favor.
18. I am a vegan/vegetarian. Can my dietary needs be accommodated?
The Dolce Hayes Mansion is a full service conference center that can accommodate any dietary needs or restrictions.
19. I have physical limitations. Will that be a problem?
The Dolce Hayes Mansion is an accessible facility, and the workshop leaders will make whatever accommodations are necessary in terms of the few physical activities that are included in the Institute.
20. Can I bring my spouse/significant other/child?
No, the Institute leaders are very firm in their insistence that there be no spouses or other extra people at the Institute facility. This restriction will be strictly enforced.
21. I have an important appointment on a date during the Institute. Can I be released to attend it?
No, you must be present for the entire time of the Institute. You should either reschedule any commitments or appointments, or wait for the next Institute.
22. I can't attend this time because <fill in reason>. Will the Institute be held again?
Since the Institute is grant-funded, we can't guarantee anything, but it is our hope and intent to offer the Institute every year or eighteen months.
23. Will there be proceedings or some other record of the Institute?
The nature of the Institute is highly interactive, built primarily around small group work. A key element in leadership institutes is the creation of a "safe place" for participants to explore themselves and to try out leadership behaviors within a supportive framework. This type of event does not lend itself to proceedings. We will create a space on the web for information about the projects, and we will also be tracking and reporting on outcomes.
24. How is the Eureka Leadership Institute different from other multi-day trainings or conferences?
First, the Institute is designed to be a transformational experience. Each segment of the multi-day curriculum builds to make a final impact on the last day. The emphasis on small group work will involve a very high level of intensity, group bonding, and risk-taking unlike traditional multi-day trainings or conferences. Second, the project requirement, grant support for the projects, the monthly webinars, and the Encore and Anniversary events insure continued interaction among the members of the group and also with the mentors, Institute facilitators, and Infopeople staff. This is not like an Infopeople workshop extended to six days!
25. What kind of support will be provided after the Institute?
The State Library has made a commitment to allow Fellows to apply for small LSTA grants to support the projects. Infopeople will facilitate monthly webinars conducted by the Eureka! Fellows themselves. At the sixth month anniversary, there will be a two-day session to check on personal and project progress, reconnect the cohort and mentors, continue to explore leadership behaviors, and learn presentation skills. At the one year anniversary, a two-day event will focus on presentations about the projects. Library directors will be invited to the anniversary event. Throughout the post-Institute period, Infopeople will maintain an electronic discussion list and will update the Institute website. Mentors will continue to be available for one-on-one phone consultations and mentoring.
26. Who will choose the attendees and what criteria will they use?
Applications will be read and evaluated by a panel of three past mentors and Institute graduates, who will be given a rating sheet developed by Infopeople consultants and the Institute facilitators. The ratings will be merged, and the 32 applications with the highest scores will be admitted to the Institute.
27. Can I go home at night to be with my family? Or do I need to be there in the evening for functions?
Attendees are expected to stay in residence at the Dolce Hayes Mansion so they can participate in evening meals, "Mentor Moments," fireside chats, and get-togethers, and can have breakfast together. This is a good time to network and work with mentors. To gain the most from the Institute experience, attendees really need to be totally focused and involved in all the activities on site.
28. Where is the Dolce Hayes Mansion located?
The address is 200 Edenvale Avenue in San Jose. It is 15 minutes from the San Jose Airport. Driving directions can be found at http://www.dolce-hayes-mansion-hotel.com/directions/directions.asp.
29. Is there a fee?
Yes, there is a tuition of $500. This covers lodging at the Dolce Hayes, all meals, and all instruction and materials. Individual participants or their libraries are responsible for transportation costs.
30. When will the payment be due?
The Pacific Library Partnership (PLP) handles the financial arrangements for the Institute. They will bill participants approximately one month before the Institute. Since that is so close to the Institute start date, there will be no refunds except in case of severe illness, accident, or death in the immediate family.
31. Can applicants pay with a credit card?
Yes, but not online. To pay with a credit card, call PLP at 650-349-5538 and ask to speak to Donna Truong.
32. What does the term "Eureka! Fellow" mean?
Once someone has completed the Institute, they have earned the title of "Eureka! Fellow." It signifies that they are no longer mere participants, but have crossed a threshold. As time goes on, the body of Fellows will grow larger.
Do you have a question that is not addressed here? Email Holly Hinman at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information, and help us build this FAQ!
Last updated March 21, 2012