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Succession planning process that includes visible minority librarians

Maha Kumaran (University Library, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada)

Library Management

ISSN: 0143-5124

Article publication date: 10 August 2015




The purpose of this paper is to stress the importance of including visible minority librarians in the process of succession planning in academic libraries. In Canada visible minorities is the accepted term used for librarians of color. This paper identifies the challenges faced by these librarians in putting their names forward for administrative/leadership positions and proposes ideas on how to include these librarians in the succession planning processes so the leadership/administrative pool can also reflect the multicultural student demographics.


This paper is an extensive study of the literature on succession planning and visible minority or ethnic librarians in the academic libraries. Literature shows that the senior administration of academic libraries does not reflect the population demographic it serves.


This paper shows that visible minority librarians are not proactively found, recruited, retained. They are certainly not being included in succession planning processes. It suggests that academic libraries follow certain processes and strategies to include these librarians in their succession planning.

Research limitations/implications

The paper focusses widely on North American visible minorities, but this information is applicable to any community with visible minorities.

Practical implications

Libraries can start thinking about creating strategies for including visible minority libraries in their succession planning processes.


This paper addresses a gap in the literature. Literature review showed that there are no papers that speak to the importance of including minority librarians in the succession planning processes.



Kumaran, M. (2015), "Succession planning process that includes visible minority librarians", Library Management, Vol. 36 No. 6/7, pp. 434-447.



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