Catherine Hakala-Ausperk

HIGHLIGHTS: National Speaker, Trainer, Facilitator, Planner, Author

Chagrin Falls, OH

***I have designed, created and presented numerous workshops, staff days, and individualized training events for library associations in Alabama, Kansas, Oklahoma, and South Carolina (to name a few) and for State Libraries in Indiana, Montana, and Texas. *** I have authored six bestselling books on leadership & career development: "Be a Great Boss: One Year to Success," "Build a Great Team: One Year to Success," "Renew Yourself: A Six-Step Plan for More Meaningful Work," "Future-Proof Your Team," "Win 'Em Over," and "Dynamic Discipline." *** I have nurtured leadership skills in graduate students for almost 10 years as an adjunct instructor at Kent State (OH) University's Information School (iSchool). In 2015, I was named the school's "Alumnus of the Year" and I am currently the President of the iSchool Alumni Society. *** I have helped to design and have facilitated the Indiana Library Leadership Academy (INLLA) week-long, residential leadership program three consecutive times. *** I've developed and delivered online courses for The American Library Association, The Public Library Association, the Urban Libraries Council, and InfoPeople.

Work Experience

  • Libraries Thrive Consulting

    Owner|Jan, 2007Current

    I work with libraries around the country offering training, strategic planning, leadership development, team building, communication skills, exceptional services and more. My goal as a consultant and trainer is to facilitate growth, motivation, and success. I also teach at The iSchool at Kent State, as well as for the American Library Association’s Certified Public Library Administrator (CPLA) Program, The Public Library Association, ALA’s eLearning Solutions, the Urban Library Council, InfoPeople, and multiple other organizations. You can follow my work on Facebook at or through my website

    • I can help your library develop an easy & affordable strategic plan that works!
    • I can help you with a successful Director Searches and set your new leader up for success.
    • As a speaker, I deliver pre-conferences, keynotes and all types of training.
    • I specialize in leadership development for both new and seasoned managers, bosses, supervisors and directors.
    • I help boards focus on professional operation and healthy relationships with their director.
  • The iSchool at Kent State (OH)

    Adjunct Instructor|Jan, 2007Current

    One of the most rewarding elements of my career is the opportunity to teach graduate library students and mentor them as they begin their careers. My classes include “The Public Library,” “Management of Libraries & Information Centers,” "Information Institutions and Professions," "Selection & Acquisitions," and "The Information Landscape."

    • I was selected as the library school's 2015 "Alumnus of the Year."
  • Northeast Ohio Regional Library System

    Executive Director (Director of Success)|May, 2011Feb, 2016

    I led, stabilized and grew a regional system that supports libraries in any way needed. We train, consult, plan and innovate, so that our libraries can be successful. I head a team of five highly energized and dedicated staff.

    • Our regional offered new services, creative collaborations and effective training to hundreds of northeast Ohio library staff members and leaders.
  • Cleveland Heights - University Heights Public Library

    Deputy Director|May, 2003May, 2011

    At a time when our library was introducing exciting new features such as a Welcome Desk and Roving Reference, I was responsible for the overall excellence of all public service in our 4-branch system.

    • I was able to lead and work with an incredible team of branch managers and public service department leaders.
    • Alongside the director, I was integrally involved in a $15 million building renovation and expansion.
  • Cuyahoga County Public Library

    Multiple Positions, from Circulation Clerk to Regional Adult Services Manager|Nov, 1984May, 2003

    My library career began and developed at CCPL, where I worked my way up and around, from Circulation Services, to reference work to management.

    • I benefitted from a wide array of outstanding coaches, mentors and training.


  • Kent State University

    Master of Library Science (MLS)|Sep, 1988Aug, 1991

    ADDITIONAL EDUCATION/TRAINING: Bachelor of Arts - News - Editorial Journalism - 1978; Certified Public Library Administrator (ALA); Ohio Certified Public Librarian (OLC); Career Development Facilitator (National Career Development Association)


  • 2020

    ALA e-Learning: "Be A Great Boss" webinar (January 8); ALA e-Learning: "Strategic Planning Made Easy" webinar (March 18); InfoPeople: "Maintaining a Safe & Respectful Library" (March 10);

  • Keynotes, Presentations, Workshops, Webinars, Classes & More...


    SOUTH CAROLINA STATE LIBRARY - "Maintaining a Safe & Respectful Library" webinar series (January); INFOPEOPLE - "Maintaining a Safe & Respectful Library" webinar series (April - May); Featured on LIBRARY LEADERSHIP PODCAST with Adriane Juarez (at; AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION/ Certified Public Library Administrator (CPLA) PROGRAM - Teaching "Organization & Personnel Administration," "Current Issues" and "Politics & Partnerships"; AL LIVE WEBINAR "Getting the Most Out of Library Volunteers;" "Build a Great Team" (October 16); NICHE ACADEMY - "Future-Proof Your Team" webinar; NEW JERSEY LIBRARY ASSOCIATION ANNUAL CONFERENCE - "Renew Yourself" (State Librarian's Breakfast presentation) and "Plan to Lead:" (Brown Bag Lunch Session); KENDALLVILLE PUBLIC LIBRARY - Continuous Improvement Group Day-Long Workshop - "Plan to Lead!";

  • 2018

    ALABAMA LIBRARY ASSOCIATION: PUBLIC LIBRARY DIVISION MINI-CONFERENCE (January 26, 2018) - "Renew Yourself" Keynote and two breakout sessions; KANAWHA COUNTY (WV) PUBLIC LIBRARY STAFF DEVELOPMENT DAY (February 28, 2018); MEDICAL LIBRARY ASSOCIATION (MLA) MIDWEST CHAPTER CONFERENCE (Cleveland, OH) - "Renew Yourself" (October 7); ST. TAMMANY PARISH LIBRARY STAFF DAY & MANAGERS' RETREAT (October 8-9); LIBRARYWORKS WEBINAR - "Don't Solve Everything! Build a Problem-Solving Team Instead (October 11, 2018);" ALA CERTIFIED PUBLIC LIBRARY ADMINISTRATOR (CPLA) COURSES - "Current Issues" (January & March); "Politics & Partnerships" (February & May); "Organization & Personnel Administration" (March & May); INFO PEOPLE course "Maintaining a Culture of Safety" (June - July): INFORMATION SCHOOL AT KENT STATE - "Information Institutions & Professions" - Spring Semester; ; ALA e-Learning - "Build a Great Team" (February 15, 2018 * October 17) & "Be a Great Mentor in 90 Minutes or Less: You Can Do It!" (March 8, 2018); ROTARY CLUB OF Chesterland (OH) ' "Everything The Same Has Changed!" (June, 2018)

  • 2017

    INFOPEOPLE course - "Strategic Planning That Doesn't Hurt a Bit!" (January); ALA/CPLA course - "Current Issues," (January & April); URBAN LIBRARIES/EDGE INITIATIVE course - "Strengthening Library Partnerships" (January, March, April, May, August, October); ALA/CPLA course - "Politics & Partnerships" (February & June); ALA/CPLA course - "Organization & Personnel Administration" (March & September); INFOPEOPLE course - "Effective Library Partnerships" (April); ALA WEBINARS "How to Hire a Library Employee" (May); INFOPEOPLE course "A Culture of Safety" (June - July); ALA WEBINAR - "Build a Great Team" (July); ALA Annual Conference - "Renew, Re-energize, Refresh Your Career" (Saturday, June 24 @ 10:30 a.m.) - Chicago - and "Brain Health: Raising the Bar for Adult Programming" (Saturday and Sunday, June 24-25, 2010; NELA: New England Library Association Annual Conference - "Be a Great Boss," "Strategic Planning That Works!," and "Renew Yourself!" (October 22-24, 2017); THE iSCHOOL AT KENT STATE - Teaching "Management of Libraries and Information Centers" and "Selection & Acquisition of Library Materials;" OHIONET WEBINAR - "Using Linked Data to Reach Your Community: (September 13, 2017);KING COUNTY (WA) LIBRARY SYSTEM - "Renew Yourself" webinar (November 28)

  • 2016

    PERRY PUBLIC LIBRARY - Library Director Search Consultant - (September - December.) MENTOR PUBLIC LIBRARY - Library Director Search Consultant - (May - December.) ALA/CPLA course “Organization and Personnel Administration” (September - October) and "Current Issues" (July - August). AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION - "New Teams" Webinar" (November 2016) AL "LIVE" - Author Interview (November 2016) InfoPeople course “The Effective Library Spokesperson” (June), and "Library Budgeting for Right Brained Thinkers," (September) OKLAHOMA LIBRARY ASSOCIATION - “Be a Great Boss” all-day pre-conference and “Communicate with Confidence” breakout session at the 2016 OLA Annual Conference (March.) DEMCO – “That’s a Great Question!” – Q&A blog for - ongoing. Also, taught “Stop Solving Problems! Develop Problem Solvers Instead!” webinar (January). KENT STATE (OH) UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF LIBRARY & INFORMATION SCIENCE - Teaching "Management of Libraries and Information Centers" (all year). SOUTH CENTRAL WISCONSIN LIBRARY SYSTEM - Offering "Ensuring Director Success" webinar (August.) AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION ANNUAL CONFERENCE 2016 - Presenting "Don't Do This (If You Want to Get the Job)," "Trainers Showcase" and resume reviews. INDIANA STATE LIBRARY - Facilitating week-long residential Leadership (INLLA) Academy (October.) UTAH STATE LIBRARY - "Everywhere Leaders: How to Move Your Library & Your Career Forward" webinar (July). PIONEER (OK) LIBRARY SYSTEM - Keynote and Session Presenter at 2016 Staff Day; also 4-part webinar review/instruction based on my book, "Be a Great Boss: One Year to Success" (August - December, 2016) UNIVERSITY OF OKLAHOMA - "Build a Great Team" all day training (November, 2016)

  • 2015

    DEMCO Webinars – “The Recipe for Leadership Success”; INFOPEOPLE - “Finding the Right People and Helping Them Grow” 4-part online course September – October; & “Digital Badging in the Library Community,” webinar; LIBRARIES UNLIMITED(ABC CLIO) Learning Network online courses: “From Interview to Success: Board – Director Relationships That Work!” & “Building Bridges: Library – Community Partnerships” & “Managing Your Strengths” & “Moving Into Management”; NAPERVILLE (IL) PUBLIC LIBRARY - Strategic Planning Consultant; NORTHEAST KANSAS LIBRARY SYSTEM - “Director Success: A Plan for Library Boards” (in-person workshop); SOUTH CAROLINA LIBRARY ASSOCIATION Annual Conference - Keynote presentation – “Everything the Same Has Changed!” & Breakout Sessions – “The Key Ingredients of Leadership” and “Healthy Cultures = Healthy Teams”; URBAN LIBRARIES COUNCIL - “Strengthening Library Partnerships,” (a webinar of The EDGE Initiative).

  • 2014

    ALA EDITIONS - "How to Build a Great Team: Growth & Development” (2-part webinar):ALA LIVE - “Library Security” Panelist; CARLSBAD (CA) LIBRARY & CULTURAL ARTS DEPARTMENT - “Welcome to the Future: Changing Together” - Staff Day Keynote Address; INDIANA STATE LIBRARY - Facilitated week-long “Indiana Librarian Leadership Academy” (InLLA); INFOPEOPLE - “Developing Effective Library Partnerships” -four-part online class; MONTANA STATE LIBRARY - “Happily Ever After: Board – Director Relationships That Work!” – 4-part webinar series; PCI (People Connect Institute) - 2-part webinar series: “Be a Great Boss: The Nuts and Bolts of Staffing, Decision Making, Problem-Solving, and Planning & Budgeting” and “Be a Great Boss: The Critical and Basic Foundations of Attitude, Vision, Communication Style and Strong Leadership;” PUBLIC LIBRARY ASSOCIATION (PLA) - “Supervise with Success” -2-part webinar; TEXAS LIBRARY ASSOCIATION - 2015 Annual Conference Pre-Conference – “Build a Great Team: One Year to Success”

  • 2013

    AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION (ALA) - 2013 Annual Conference (Chicago, IL) – “Communicate with Confidence: One Year to Success” (co-presenter); ALA EDITIONS - “Strategic Planning: The Balanced Scorecard Approach” - webinar; DEMCO - Webinars– “Anyone Can Write a Grant!” & “Marketing for Everyone”; INDIANA STATE LIBRARY - Facilitated week-long “Indiana Librarian Leadership Academy” (InLLA); MISSOURI STATE LIBRARY - “Build a Great Team: New Directors’ Roadmap” - webinar; PUBLIC LIBRARY ASSOCIATION (PLA) - 2013 Annual Conference Pre-Conference – “Be a Great Boss: One Year to Success”; TEXAS LIBRARY ASSOCIATION - 2013 Annual Conference Pre-Conference – “Be a Great Boss: One Year to Success”; UTAH STATE LIBRARY - “Turning the Page 2.0” Advocacy 6-part webinar series

  • 2012 and earlier...

    2012 AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION - 2012 Annual Conference (Anaheim, CA) – “Build a Great Team: One Year to Success” full-day pre-conference; DEMCO - Webinar – “Tomorrow…From the Beginning: A Time Management Webinar”; MISSOURI STATE LIBRARY - Summer Library Institute: Management & Administration – “Leadership Toolbox”; PUBLIC LIBRARY ASSOCIATION (PLA) - 2012 National Conference (Philadelphia, PA) – “Be a Great Boss: One Year to Success” full-day pre-conference; UTAH STATE LIBRARY - “Turning the Page 2.0” Advocacy 6-part webinar series (7 series); UTAH STATE LIBRARY - 5-part webinar – “How to Hire a Great Director”; WINNETKA (IL) PUBLIC LIBRARY - “The Perfect Recipe (for The Care and Feeding of a Healthy Culture)”; and “Be A Great Boss: One Year to Success: Managers’ Retreat. 2011 AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION (ALA) - Annual Conference (New Orleans, LA) – “The Top 10 Benefits of Tough Times!”; ALA EDITIONS - Webinar – “Be a Great Boss: One Year to Success!”; NORTH CAROLINA PUBLIC LIBRARY DIRECTORS' ASSOCIATION - “YOU Can Be a Great Boss!” (Keynote address); OHIO LIBRARY COUNCIL - Annual Conference - “Be a Great Boss: How and Why” 2010 OHIO LIBRARY COUNCIL (OLC) Conference Presentations - “Your Library, Your Community” & “Burgers, Baby Showers and Hot Nosh!” Also served as panelist on “Successful Community Partnerships!”; ORLAND PARK (IL) PUBLIC LIBRARY - Strategic Planning Consultant; PUBLIC LIBRARY ASSOCIATION (PLA) - National Conference (Portland, OR) – “Be a Good Boss!” Pre-2010 2009 - PUBLIC LIBRARY ASSOCIATION (PLA) Spring Symposium (Nashville, TN) – “Today’s Library from the Inside Out!” – Co-presenter 2008 – OHIO LIBRARY COUNCIL (OLC) Conference - Innovative Environments Conference – “Get Inspired!” 2008 - National PUBLIC LIBRARY ASSOCIATION (PLA) Conference (Minneapolis) – “21st Century Library” – co-presenter 2007 - CENTRAL OREGON REGIONAL LIBRARY CONFERENCE - 7th Annual Conference – (Keynote) – “Still Thriving: Why Google Can’t Beat Public Libraries,” and “What Do You Say?”- Break out session; OHIO LIBRARY COUNCIL (OLC) - Annual Conference - Co-presented – “The Balanced Scorecard in the Library: A Strategic Planning and Management Tool”

  • Publications

    Published Author & Editor: ---Future-Proof Your Team (Leadership Planner Series) - ALA Editions, 2019; ---Win 'Em Over (Leadership Planner Series) - ALA Editions, 2019; ---Dynamic Discipline (Leadership Planner Series) - ALA Editions, 2019; ---Renew Yourself: A Six-Step Plan for More Meaningful Work – ALA Editions, 2017; ---Build a Great Team: One Year to Success – ALA Editions, 2013; ---Be A Great Boss: One Year to Success – ALA Editions, published, 2011; ---“Invest in Yourself,” American Libraries, April 2010. ---“Reaching Little Heights;” chapter in "Children’s Services: Partnerships for Success,” edited by Betsy Diamant-Cohen, ed., ALA Editions, 2010. ---“Waking Up the Neighborhood: Partnerships with Local Businesses and Art Communities;" chapter in "Partnerships and Collaborations in Public Library Communities: Resources and Solutions," Karen Ellis, ed., IGI Global, 2011. ---“Grants and the Grant Writing Process;” chapter in "Library Management 101: A Practical Guide," Diane L. Velasquez, ed., ALA Editions, 2012. ---Guest Editor and Contributing Writer for Library Worklife, a publication of the Allied Professional Association of the American Library Association. (2006-2007) ---Invest in Yourself,” American Libraries, April 2010. ---Editor of "By the Book" professional review column in "Public Libraries" magazine (2003- current).

  • Professional Commitment

    PROFESSIONAL COMMITMENT Kent State University iSchool Alumni Network President (2018- current) ALA; ALA Learning Roundtable (LRT) - Board Member (2017-2020) Chair, Carterette Scholarship Committee (LRT) (2014 -current) ALA-APA Certification Review Committee (2012-2015) PLA & Public Library Association (PLA) Conference Committee (2011-2013) State Library of Ohio LSTA Advisory Council (2010-current) Alumni & Friends Council, KSU School of Library & Information Science (current) Northeast Ohio Regional Library System Board of Trustees (2009-2011) NEO-RLS’ Continuing Education Committee; Chair (2009) NEO-RLS’ Long Range Planning Committee (2007); Chair (2008-2009) NEO-RLS’ “Library Leadership Ohio.” Selection Committee Chair (2008) CAMLS’ Continuing Education Committee PLA Public Libraries Advisory Committee (2005 – electronic member) CAMLS’ Strategic Planning Committee (2004-2005) Cuyahoga County Public Library (CCPL) Reference Redesign Committee CCPL Hiring Redesign Committee CCPL Staff Development Day Committee CCPL Web Page Committee (Chair)