The paper's aim is to present findings of the recent evaluation of the Leading Modern Public Libraries development programme with reference to the management versus leadership dynamic. The programme provided a strategic intervention to address a perceived weakness in leadership development within the public library sector in England.
Drawing on recent examples from the literature, the theoretical differences between the concepts of management and leadership are discussed and used to inform consideration of the programme's effectiveness. Evaluation methods included participant observation, interviews, focus groups and a questionnaire survey, each administered at various stages of the programme with a representative sample of programme participants. Verbatim quotations from evaluation respondents are included in the analysis.
The research reveals that the programme has had a positive impact in enabling and developing leadership capacity within the sector, particularly in terms of developing participants' confidence and other interpersonal traits associated with effective leadership, including creativity and risk taking. Perceived benefits and limitations of the public library context in which the course was delivered have also been identified.
Important considerations on the transition from effective management to leadership, and the identification, support and development of future leaders within organisations are presented, with implications for current public library leaders, trainers and facilitators within the field.
The paper shows that the programme and its evaluation represent a strategic development initiative on an unprecedented scale in the public library sector.
Wilson, K. and Corrall, S. (2008), "Developing public library managers as leaders: Evaluation of a national leadership development programme", Library Management, Vol. 29 No. 6/7, pp. 473-488. https://doi.org/10.1108/01435120810894509Download as .RIS
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited