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Project SET: Skills, Empowerment, Talent: Info

Program Details

After five years of delivering Project SET, MLS will take a year off to re-evaluate and redesign the program. Keep an eye on this space for future updates regarding the program!

Participant Testimonials

Program Details

Project SET is a professional learning cohort that supports the development of individual career goals and the exploration of other aspects of the library community. Every session provides the chance for participants to build knowledge, communication skills, connections, awareness, and confidence as an information professional. SET is a way to interact with other librarians by stepping out of the day-to-day routine and thinking about the bigger picture.

Project SET is an opportunity to work with librarians of all types throughout the Massachusetts community who are passionate about the profession. The program inspires and pushes participants by giving them the time and permission to reflect deeply on their place in the library world. Project SET is a program designed to broaden your library related understanding, boost your confidence and connect you to colleagues.

Project SET: Skills, Empowerment, Talent is a learning community guided by members of the Massachusetts Library System's Consultants team. Project participants will engage in activities and discussions designed to develop their leadership skills as a trainer in the library community.

Project SET has been established in order to cultivate new talent amongst the library community of Massachusetts and provide the support and encouragement to build participants confidence and strengthen their career paths.

This project began as a one-year pilot in January 2015, our latest cohort graduated from Project SET in December, 2019.

Interested members are invited to apply online. A group of 8-12 individuals will be selected from a pool of qualified applicants. The ideal candidate will be new to program design and instruction but demonstrate an enthusiasm for becoming an engaged member of our library community.

This program focuses on six key themes and the overall breakdown is as follows:

  1. Trends and emerging topics in the library field (30%)
  2. Instructional design (10%)
  3. Presentation skills (30%)
  4. Communication (10%)
  5. Leadership (10%)
  6. Career development (10%)


Project SET prides itself on creating an open and welcoming environment for its participants.  We are committed to building a cohort of participants from diverse cultures, backgrounds, and experiences. Applications from diverse applicants are strongly encouraged.

On the application we will ask you for some basic information including - What specific topics would you like to see addressed during your time in Project SET?

After submitting the online application you will receive instructions on how to submit the following materials:

  1. Cover letter (minimum 500 words, no maximum) addressing the following questions:
    a. What do you hope to bring to Project SET? (How will your participation in the Cohort contribute to its success?)
    b. What do you hope to get from Project SET? (How will your skills be enhanced by this program?)
  2. Current resume
  3. Letter of support from your supervisor, including their understanding of the time and travel commitment
  4. One additional letter of reference (not from a Massachusetts Library System staff member or your supervisor)

Criteria used for evaluating application materials

  • Career experience indicates first-hand knowledge of LIS responsibilities and issues.
  • Capacity to benefit from Project SET, given candidate’s prior experience and current position.
  • Demonstrates sincere interest in personal and career growth.
  • Career accomplishments show dedication to the field and room for growth.
  • Understanding of Project SET goals and mission.
  • Has obtained the support of their supervisor

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