To read this content please select one of the options below:

“Or you got it or you ain't”: the nature of leadership in libraries

David McMenemy (Department of Computer and Information Sciences, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK)

Library Review

ISSN: 0024-2535

Article publication date: 18 April 2008




To examine the nature of leadership as a set of skills that can be acquired, vs the argument that they are skills a person either has or has not, and discuss this in relation to the recent focus on leadership in libraries.


The article is a reflective opinion.


Argues that an over‐emphasis on leadership in the library manager is a potential danger to the collegiality of the profession, and that leadership is such a diversely interpreted term that it leads to a mishmash of ideas and emphases within the wider profession.

Practical implications

Relates to a topic much debated and discussed in recent years within the library profession.


The article takes a reflective and critical stance towards the discourse around leadership.



McMenemy, D. (2008), "“Or you got it or you ain't”: the nature of leadership in libraries", Library Review, Vol. 57 No. 4, pp. 265-268.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Related articles