ACRL Announces Inaugural Fostering Change Cohort

Join the first cohort of institutional teams planning their change process!

Academic libraries must strategically plan for the large- and small-scale changes necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic and a changing higher education landscape. These changes can include reduced budgets, changing approaches to research and learning, shifting student and library worker populations, and many more internal and external forces. A successful change process requires understanding your institutional cultures and values, building engagement in your library and with campus administration, and creating, instituting, and assessing the change. Change should place people at the center—the people who must live with the change every day, work within it, and make the new process, service, positions, or other change an impactful contribution to the library and institution.

ACRL’s Fostering Change Cohort is a 12-week program designed for teams from institutions planning any type of organizational change. Each team can be made up of 2-to-5 library workers. Facilitators will help you articulate your vision to various stakeholders and imagine ways to demonstrate the value and impact of your change. They’ll aid in identifying and establishing team dynamics, providing strategies for working with people who are struggling with change, and trying out project management tools for organizing your work. The facilitators and your cohort will help you create a plan that can help take your organization from where you are today to your imagined future.

The Fostering Change Cohort hopes to build a community of change agents in academic libraries, armed with the tools to spark, lead, and sustain change no matter your organizational position and with a network of peers to lean on as you embark on your change process.

Learn more in the free ACRL Presents webcast ACRL Presents: Introducing the Fostering Change Cohort on Wednesday, August 11, at 1 p.m. Central.

Why You Should Participate

The Fostering Change Cohort welcomes teams planning for any type of organizational change in their library. We encourage teams built from across the library and institution: library workers or library partners involved in the change, including information technology workers, learning commons staff, faculty, or administration.

Participating in the Fostering Change Cohort is a long-term investment in your professional development and community, providing you with both a grounding in change theory and practical strategies for change implementation and management, as well as a class of peers to encourage you and help troubleshoot as you work through your change process.

This program is for you if:

  • You want to work closely with a group of co-learners and facilitators on understanding change, your institutional cultures and values, and creating an inclusive and equitable change process plan.
  • You are willing to be a co-learner and co-teacher, helping to build a learning community through honest and difficult conversations.
  • You want to create a change process using inclusive, antiracist, and anti-oppressive change strategies.
  • You are committed to making a specific organizational change.

Learning Outcomes

Fostering Change Cohort teams will leave with a comprehensive plan for their upcoming change process and a certificate of completion. Participants are invited to read ACRL’s open access Fostering Change: A Team-Based Guide prior to beginning cohort work. The program will include some presentations, an online course space, Zoom meetings with groups of teams, a Slack channel for easy contact throughout, and individual team meetings with facilitators.


Cohort work will be mostly asynchronous with some synchronous learning activities, with an anticipated 2 to 3 hours of work each week.  

Week 1. September 20, 2021

Week 2. September 27, 2021

Week 3. October 4, 2021

Week 4. October 11, 2021

Week 5. October 18, 2021

Week 6. October 25, 2021

Week 7. November 1, 2021

Week 8. November 8, 2021

Week 9. November 15, 2021

Week 10. November 29, 2021

Week 11. December 6, 2021

Week 12. December 13, 2021


Dani Brecher Cook is the Associate University Librarian for Learning and User Experience at the UC San Diego Library. She’s also the co-founder of the Conference on Academic Library Management, and a co-author of the ALA book Learner-Centered Pedagogy: Principles and Practice with Kevin Michael Klipfel. This year, she will be the president of ALA’s New Members Round Table. Outside of libraries, Dani enjoys spending time with her husband and two small humans, training for long-distance runs, and exploring her adopted home of California. You can follow her on Twitter @danibcook.

Sojourna J. Cunningham is the Social Sciences and Assessment Librarian at the University of Richmond. She works as the liaison to her campus’ Anthropology, Sociology, Psychology and Education departments. Sojourna was an ALA Emerging Leader and is a graduate of the Minnesota Institute for Early Career Librarianship. She has an MSLS from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an MLA from the University of Richmond. Her research interests are in user services, assessment, DEI policy and mentorship. Her work focuses on the ways in which white supremacy culture influences librarianship and how to create meaningful change through policy. You can follow her on Twitter @TheNotoriousSJC.

Cinthya Ippoliti. As director of the Auraria Library, Cinthya provides direct administrative leadership for library services, spaces, partnerships, and programming on the tri-institutional Auraria Campus which includes the University of Colorado, Denver; Metropolitan State University of Denver, and Community College of Denver and serves approximately 35,000 highly diverse students in an urban setting. In collaboration with the Library’s administrative team, she sets a strategic vision to develop new services, foster creativity and collaboration, and provide professional development and mentorship opportunities for all library employees.

Brianna Marshall is Senior Associate Dean for Operations, Assessment, and Communications at Northern Kentucky University’s Steely Library. She is the editor of the book The Complete Guide to Personal Digital Archiving, published by ALA Press. You can follow her on Twitter at @notsosternlib.


Registration materials are available online. The registration deadline is September 13, 2021.


A full scholarship will be awarded to one team from a minority-serving institution (examples include Hispanic-Serving Institutions, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Community and Junior Colleges, and Tribal Academic Institutions). To apply, please send the names of your team members, institution, and desired change to Erin Nevius, ACRL Content Strategist, at, by September 7, 2021, at 5 p.m. Eastern. The applications will be reviewed and a recipient identified by members of ACRL’s New Roles and Changing Landscapes Committee.

Questions about the Fostering Change Cohort should be directed to Erin Nevius at