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A case for succession planning: How academic libraries are responding to the need to prepare future leaders

Quinn Galbraith (Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, USA)
Sara D. Smith (Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, USA)
Ben Walker (Education Library, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, USA)

Library Management

ISSN: 0143-5124

Article publication date: 11 May 2012

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to argue the importance of succession planning within academic libraries backed up by original research documenting current succession planning practices.

Design/methodology/approach

A survey was completed by 34 ARL institutions, which included 25 questions regarding the ages of library leaders, hiring practices, and opinions about the importance and practice of specific succession planning principles. These results are compared with an extensive literature review.

Findings

The survey results show that there is a gap between the perceived importance of various principles of succession planning and how well the principles are practiced. In addition, the age demographics of library leaders clearly show a need to prepare future leaders.

Practical implications

From this research it was found that many libraries are not prepared to fill the vacancies of library leadership positions.

Originality/value

This original research provides data that may be lacking within the field in regards to the need for succession planning.

Keywords

Citation

Galbraith, Q., Smith, S.D. and Walker, B. (2012), "A case for succession planning: How academic libraries are responding to the need to prepare future leaders", Library Management, Vol. 33 No. 4/5, pp. 221-240. https://doi.org/10.1108/01435121211242272

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited