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EXCITE Transformation for Libraries: EXCITE FAQs

For Library Directors

1. Why should my staff attend?

Pilot participants felt the language, skills, and tools taught in the EXCITE program were essential to helping libraries transform and be relevant in the 21st century, that the skills learned had a positive impact on teambuilding, and that this training helped to create a stronger culture of collaboration and innovation in and between the participating libraries. Their efforts resulted in new grant funded programs and services that uncovered and responded to community motivations and needs, bringing more community members to the library to connect and collaborate. Also, your team will be eligible for up to $3,000 in grant funding to enact a new program or service developed through this training, and your library will be eligible to send additional individual staff members to a Bootcamp, thereby extending the impact of the program on your library's culture. 

2. Who should I send as part of the team?

Teams will have a better chance of achieving long-term organizational change at their home libraries if the library director is part of the team. Likewise, the team should include other influencers and decision-makers at all career levels. Participants are not required to have an MLS degree.

3. But I don't have that many staff to send!

Recruit significant board members, volunteers, or friends of the library to fill out your team.

4. What if my staff just wants to attend the Standalone Bootcamp?

The Standalone Bootcamp is available only to individual employees of libraries that completed the Core Program. A library must send a team to a full Cohort before it can send additional staff to a Bootcamp.

5. I still have questions!

Please contact Dawn La Valle, EXCITE Project Director, at or 860-757-6665.


If you have questions about the program, please contact:

Dawn La Valle, Director, Division of Library Development
Connecticut State Library
Phone: (860) 757-6665 | Fax: (860) 757-6503

Thank you, IMLS!

Institute of Museum and Library Services

This project was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, grant # RE-95-17-0068-17, in the Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program.

For Participants

1. Why should I attend?

  • To learn how and when to collaborate as a team, how to facilitate and engage the community through human-centered research for deeper insight, how to design transformative programs and services in response to community needs, and how to make those programs and services real.
  • To practice presentation skills and project management skills, including planning, financial reporting, timeline adherence, communication, and people management.
  • To be more qualified for higher positions.

2. What am I committing to?

Participants must commit to attend all in-person training dates, conduct field work in between training sessions, and blog or otherwise publicly reflect on their work and experiences in the program. Participants will also work with their teammates to implement new programs or services in their libraries. Teams must submit final reports about their projects.

3. What do I get out of this?

In addition to new skills and nifty digital badges, here's what the pilot participants got from the program:

  • Confidence in talking with groups and drawing out their thoughts.
  • Confidence in interacting with the community.
  • Better knowledge of how to formulate questions to elicit useful feedback.
  • Increased responsibility.
  • A better eye when it comes to conveying a vision/idea.
  • Better equipped to manage time.
  • I'm Energized.
  • I'm Inspired.
  • More vocal about my thoughts/contributions.
  • Not afraid to "fail."
  • Greater comfort with coming up with ideas and not judging or dismissing them.
  • A new appreciation for colleagues.
  • Incredible bonding experience with coworkers. Changed how I feel at work.
  • Our library has grown as a team, and I feel like I can rely on my team members to work hard and support each other.

4. How do I pay for this?

Thanks to grant funding from IMLS, the program is tuition-free, a value of $4,400 per person ($17,600 per team). In addition, library teams are eligible for scholarships up to $2,000 per team to help pay for travel, lodging, meals, and staff coverage back at the library. Cohort participants will pay $100 per person for lunches during the training sessions.

5. How do I apply?

Submit a team video or slideshow telling us who you are, why you want to participate, and what you hope to do as a result of the training. Deadlines are posted on our site.

6. How do you pick?

Most importantly, we'll accept only participants who have signed an agreement committing to attendance on all the training dates and to conducting fieldwork and additional homework in between training sessions. We'll also look for responses that align with the curriculum and program and personalities exhibited in applications (especially energy and interest in collaboration). As much as possible, we'll select for geographic distribution and diverse types of libraries, librarians, and communities.

7. What are the dates?

A detailed training schedule is posted on our site.

8. Where is the training held?

Cohort 1 will take place at the Middletown Library Service Center, 786 South Main St, Middletown, CT. Cohort 2 will likely be located in Rhode Island, in the Cranston/Providence area.

9. I really want to do more!

Great! Apply for the Facilitator Certification training program that will be held from June through December 2018. Again, you must commit to attending all the dates. See the Detailed Training Schedule on our web site.

10. I still have questions!

Please contact Dawn La Valle, EXCITE Project Director, at or 860-757-6665.

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