Community Leadership

Instructor Information:

Jenny Bossaller
Assistant Professor
School of Information Science & Learning Technologies
303 Townsend Hall
University of Missouri

Course Description:

Service learning course. Students will have the opportunity to work with local leaders to work on a project that links the library to another organization. Students will learn about partnerships and advocacy for the library, developing leadership skills through action and reflection. A main component of the assignments is to develop empathy and listening skills.

Course Objectives:

After completing the entire course, you should be able to demonstrate and use:

1H. The importance of effective advocacy for libraries, librarians, other library workers, and library services (Assignments 1 – 4).

8D. The concepts behind, and methods for, developing partnerships, collaborations, networks, and other structures with all stakeholders and within communities served (Assignments 1 – 4).

8E. The concepts behind, issues relating to, and methods for, principled, transformational leadership (Assignments 2 – 4).


McCook, K. (2000). A Place at the Table: Participating in Community Building. ALA Editions.

Winston, M. (2008). Opportunity for Leadership: Full and Informed Participation. Libraries Unlimited.

Edwards, J., Robinson, M., and Unger, K. (2013). Transforming Libraries, Building Communities: the Community-Centered Library. Scarecrow Press.

Dudley, M. (2012). Public Libraries and Resilient Cities. ALA Editions.


The most important criteria for grading are thoughtfulness, completeness, and quality. The effort you put into your assignments (process) contributes to your success on the final outcome (product).

Letter grades will be allocated on the following scale:

93 to 100 percent = A
84 to 92.9 percent = B
74 to 83.9 percent = C
below 74 percent = F

*There is no grade of “D” in graduate school.


Assignment 1: Promote-a-service.
Design an advertising campaign for a new or existing library service, using multiple methods of communication such as fliers, social media, press releases, newspaper or radio ads.

Assignment 2: Meeting attendance.
Attend public meetings, such as a relevant City Council, school board, or planning commission meeting. Reflect on the library’s place in the community and discovering community needs.

Assignment 3: Collaboration with an agency.
Work 20 hours with Boys & Girls Club or another community organization. Learn about their needs.

Assignment 4: Blog/Journal.
Maintain a three-part reflective journal throughout the course. This requires students to reflect on scholarly readings, service-learning experiences, and performance. Develop an awareness of opportunities that will lead others in a spirit of service to the community.