APLL - Ontario Library Service

Thank you for your interest in the Advancing Public Library Leadership Program.

Registration for the 2023-2024 APLL cohort is now closed.

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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. Launched in 2008, the program has evolved with every cycle, adapting to current issues and changes in the landscape of Ontario public libraries and is aimed at public library staff with leadership aspirations who meet at least one of the enrollment criteria.

The APLL Institute promotes a practice-based approach to public library leadership. The curriculum relies on a blend of online platforms and attending highly interactive classroom sessions together emphasizing individual and collaborative work. The development of a rich learning environment with a network of peers is an important aspect of the program.  

Each two-year cycle of APLL includes four Intensives (three days of either classroom or virtual sessions in the Spring and Fall of both years) and an online course each term. The online courses (available via LearnHQ) provide participants with a shared body of knowledge, covering themes related to organizational leadership and leading in the municipal environment. At each Intensive, and throughout 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:

     • Consciously Owning Your Leadership Practice
     • Understanding the Dynamics of Change Leadership
     • Succeeding in the Municipal Environment
     • Becoming a Relentless Communicator.


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:

     • Degree or Diploma in Library/Information Studies
     • EXCEL Certificate in Managing a Small Public Library
     • Current Management/Supervisor Position in an Ontario Public Library or Part of a Succession Plan

Registration 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.”