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Book part
Publication date: 16 June 2015

Denise Kwan and Libi Shen

The purpose of this case study was to explore senior librarians’ perceptions of successful leadership skills in the 21st century. The data gathered from 10 senior library

Abstract

The purpose of this case study was to explore senior librarians’ perceptions of successful leadership skills in the 21st century. The data gathered from 10 senior library leaders consisted of demographic information and responses to six open-ended interview questions. From the NVivo 10 analysis, several significant themes emerged regarding successful library leadership skills in the 21st century at two levels: foundational and interpersonal. At the foundational level, technical and knowledge skills form the building blocks for the next level of interpersonal skills. Persuasion and collaborative skills are interwoven with these interpersonal skills, both of which are at the core of the postindustrial paradigm of leadership. These two levels of skills, with an emphasis on persuasion skills, should form the basis of succession planning programs for next generation librarians. Implementing such programs could lead to increased leadership diversity, greater job satisfaction, improved job performance and effectiveness, all of which help retain librarians and ease staff shortages. Further studies are recommended.

Details

Advances in Library Administration and Organization
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-910-3

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 August 2005

John Mullins and Margaret Linehan

Aims to explore the topic of leadership as perceived and practised by public library leaders. Library leaders have a wide‐ranging impact on society but have been largely…

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Abstract

Purpose

Aims to explore the topic of leadership as perceived and practised by public library leaders. Library leaders have a wide‐ranging impact on society but have been largely overlooked as the subject of serious study. The current study seeks to investigate the perspectives of public library leaders beyond national boundaries in order to develop an understanding of the perceptions of current leaders in the field of public librarianship.

Design/methodology/approach

A total of 30 senior public library leaders were selected for in‐depth face‐to‐face interviews in three national jurisdictions – Ireland, the UK, and the USA.

Findings

The study of the perceptions of senior public library leaders, across national boundaries, makes a theoretical contribution not just to leadership in librarianship, but also to the broader literature on organizational leadership. Nine main thematic areas emerged from the findings. One of these themes, the centrality of leadership to librarianship, is the particular focus of this paper.

Practical implications

The findings support the centrality of leadership for optimal strategic and operational practices in the field of public librarianship. The challenge for the public library sector is to identify and consider the leadership skills and personal attributes that are essential to success.

Originality/value

Presents a representative sample of insights, reflections and assessments from participating public library leaders regarding the centrality of leadership to librarianship.

Details

Library Management, vol. 26 no. 6/7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-5124

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 8 January 2018

Mohammad Aslam

The purpose of this paper is to reflect on major issues and trends of academic libraries and leadership in the changing nature of higher education. Changing environment of…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to reflect on major issues and trends of academic libraries and leadership in the changing nature of higher education. Changing environment of academic libraries has impacted significantly on the knowledge, skills requirement and role of the library leaders, and how organizations can maintain and manage the changing nature of academic libraries as well as leadership while effective leadership is extremely required for the library leaders and organizations are concern about future scenarios. The primary objective is to identify the key challenges in libraries, leadership skills and approaches of the leaders, their effective leadership traits and future perceptions are discussed.

Design/methodology/approach

The aim of this paper is to facilitate as how to develop effective and successful leadership for the academic libraries during the changing nature of higher education. The findings and recommendations in the paper are based on personal experience of leadership positions in an academic library as well as experience of library leaders across the world.

Findings

Academic libraries are facing similar challenges and issues across the world. This paper identifies that library leaders need to be effective communicators, strategic thinkers, visionary, and able to examine the new ways of working.

Originality/value

This paper discusses why academic library leaders need a set of new skills and how can they develop leadership skills and competencies in the changing nature of academic libraries.

Details

Library Management, vol. 39 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-5124

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 14 July 2021

Sania Awais and Kanwal Ameen

The purpose of this paper is to explore the salient factors in adoption of innovations in university libraries of Pakistan. The topic is important because academic…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the salient factors in adoption of innovations in university libraries of Pakistan. The topic is important because academic libraries need to be innovative for meeting the new vision/mission of higher education. A previous study conducted by the same researchers concluded an inappreciable state of a large majority of university libraries in Pakistan (Awais and Ameen, 2018). It is, therefore, necessary to examine and investigate the ground realities and important factors influencing in the local context.

Design/methodology/approach

Qualitative design is used to explore the important influencing factors. Data are collected through conducting a series of semi-structured interviews from 15 academic library leaders belonging to traditional and 15 with a better status of innovations.

Findings

Major factors like behavioral issues of library staff, lack of trainings, lack of budget and leadership skills are causing hindrance in leading to adopt new trends and innovations. Vision of higher authorities, library team with new skillsets, funding by the Higher Education Commission, etc. favor adoption of innovations. All leaders of the academic libraries need to have a positive strong attitude, vision and planning to overcome the barriers in the path of adoption of innovations to survive and thrive.

Research limitations/implications

The study is conducted in local context of Pakistan. Only viewpoints of librarians at top level are taken. Viewpoints of higher authorities, library staff and users are not taken for this study. Similarly, viewpoints of only 30 library leaders are taken, which is also a limitation of this study.

Practical implications

Traditional-type library leaders can overcome the barriers by going through the findings and conclusion. They can get ideas from the discussion of innovative-type library leaders.

Social implications

University libraries can be improved by the help of policy makers and higher authorities. Eventually, users would get better learning, teaching and social environment.

Originality/value

The study is conducted in a local context of Pakistan. It may provide a guideline for some future planning and development of university libraries. The research will be also useful in creating awareness among professionals of other developing countries.

Details

Library Management, vol. 42 no. 6-7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-5124

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 21 October 2021

Nokuphiwa Kunene and Patrick Mapulanga

The purpose of this study was to ascertain the adoption of transformational leadership qualities in South African libraries in Gauteng Province.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study was to ascertain the adoption of transformational leadership qualities in South African libraries in Gauteng Province.

Design/methodology/approach

The study used a qualitative approach with open-ended questions that yielded some qualitative data. For the study, a multi-case study design was used. The study specifically targeted participants by identifying three directors of academic libraries in Gauteng. The criteria for selecting the three directors were that two of the universities are residential research-intensive universities, and the third is an academic library of a distance learning university. Atlas.ti8 was used to analyse the data, which was then presented using thematic content analysis.

Findings

Thematic areas for leaders of the 21st century, as mentioned by the directors, were a mixed bag. That empowerment was suggested by the first academic director. The appropriate leadership qualities were fiduciary, analytical, pragmatic, transformative and visionary. The second academic director proposed consultative, innovative and adaptable approaches, while the third proposed collaborative, ethical and adaptive approaches.

Practical implications

Transformative leadership is required, particularly in the aftermath of technological advances and pandemics such as COVID-19, which have altered the way academic libraries should operate.

Originality/value

Many studies on transformative leadership have been conducted. However, in the aftermath of technological advancements and pandemics such as COVID-19, the role of transformative leadership remained untested. This study fills the void.

Details

Library Management, vol. 42 no. 8/9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-5124

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 April 2006

John Mullins and Margaret Linehan

To investigate senior library leaders' perceptions of leadership, and to critically explore whether senior librarians distinguish classic leadership from…

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Abstract

Purpose

To investigate senior library leaders' perceptions of leadership, and to critically explore whether senior librarians distinguish classic leadership from management/administrative practices, both conceptually and in their work lives.

Design/methodology/approach

Thirty top‐level public librarians from Ireland, Britain, and the east coast of the United States were selected for inclusion in this study. A review of the relevant literature was conducted in order to design an interview guide which was then used to conduct structured in‐depth face‐to‐face interviews.

Findings

Many responses from the senior librarians indicated an apparent ignorance of any distinction between leadership and management. Eighty per cent of respondents tended to confuse leadership with headship, management, administration, or bureaucracy, or a combination of these. The findings argue that classic leadership is a relatively scarce quality in public libraries in Britain, Ireland, and America. Many public library leaders, instead, focus on management/administration.

Practical implications

The findings have practical implications for librarians at the recruitment and selection stage, and later on for the career paths of middle management personnel who show aptitudes for leadership.

Originality/value

This study of the perceptions of senior public library leaders, across national boundaries, makes a theoretical contribution both to the limited extant literature on leadership in librarianship, and the broad corpus of organizational leadership literature. The current study is the most in‐depth study to date, drawing on thirty face‐to‐face interviews with thirty public library leaders.

Details

Library Review, vol. 55 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0024-2535

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 15 March 2022

Jason Martin

An effective measurement of library leadership is crucial to understanding the current state of library leadership and to developing library leaders. This study sought to…

Abstract

Purpose

An effective measurement of library leadership is crucial to understanding the current state of library leadership and to developing library leaders. This study sought to validate and measure the reliability of the Martin Library Leadership survey.

Design/methodology/approach

This survey is based on the Martin Library Leadership Definition, an evidence-based definition of library leadership. The first version of the survey consisted of 28 questions plus questions on respondent and library leader demographics. Each question measured one of the three components of the definition. This version of the survey was distributed to multiple ALA listservs and after analysis 16 items were removed. The resulting 12 question version of the survey was sent to the same ALA listservs and completed by 291 librarians and library staff from various library types and library work areas. The responses were analyzed using SPSS.

Findings

Exploratory factor analysis found three factors that align with the three components of the Martin Library Leadership Definition, and questions loaded in their expected factors at least 0.7. Cronbach's alpha was used to determine internal consistency. The alpha for the entire survey was 0.956. The Martin Library Leadership survey was validated and found to be reliable.

Originality/value

The results of this study provide strong and consistent evidence the Martin Library Leadership survey is valid and can be used in further library leadership research and professional development.

Article
Publication date: 1 February 2006

John Mullins and Margaret Linehan

This paper aims to add to the limited extant literature on public library leadership.

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to add to the limited extant literature on public library leadership.

Design/methodology/approach

The study investigates the desired qualities and behaviours required for public library leaders by interviewing 30 senior librarians from Ireland, the UK and the east coast of the USA in order to develop an understanding of the perceptions of current leaders in the field of public librarianship. A review of the relevant literature was used to design an interview guide which was used to conduct structured in‐depth face‐to‐face interviews.

Findings

The findings illustrate that there is no universal or common behaviour, even within national boundaries, for effective public library leadership. Two‐thirds of the interviewees, however, prioritised attention to the implementation of vision – desired goals – as the most essential element of library leadership.

Practical implications

Demonstrates a lack of focus in the leadership problem in librarianship and the need for work to be devoted to the development of leaders. Shows that there is also an absence of success in planning.

Originality/value

The current study is the most in‐depth study to date on this topic, drawing on face‐to‐face interviews with 30 public library leaders. Prior to his study, no in‐depth face‐to‐face study on the topic of leadership in librarianship has been researched and published outside of North America. As this study was undertaken in three national jurisdictions – Ireland, the UK, and the USA – it is also the first interview‐based transnational study on the topic.

Details

Leadership & Organization Development Journal, vol. 27 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7739

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 4 April 2016

Ioannis C. Drivas, Damianos P. Sakas and Georgios A. Giannakopoulos

This paper aims to examine the Self-Other Agreement between leaders and employees in the sector of Libraries and Information Services (LIS) to construct a sustainable and…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine the Self-Other Agreement between leaders and employees in the sector of Libraries and Information Services (LIS) to construct a sustainable and strategic communicational process among library directors and staff.

Design/methodology/approach

A sample of 135 leaders-employees of 17 organisations of LIS in more than five countries answered on a quantitative methodological research instrument in a multiplicity of variables. Statistical analysis of independent samples t-test was used to testify our research hypotheses.

Findings

Results indicated that there is a difference in means between the two independent samples (leaders-employees). There are library leaders who rate themselves quite high, and there are employees who rate their leaders with lower evaluations.

Research limitations/implications

This research extends and improves the matter of Self-Other Agreement in the sector of LIS through the collection of data that indicated a possible gap of communication and trustworthiness between leaders and employees.

Practical implications

Regardless of the difference or the consensus of ratings among leaders and employees, the results of this research could be served as a stimulus plus as a starting point for library leaders by correcting or developing relations of communication and trustworthiness between them and their followers.

Originality/value

Self-Other Agreement is one of the major factors that positively or negatively affect the overall operation of the organization in the way a leader could perceive the additional feedback. In the sector of LIS, the study of Self-Other Agreement is a rich and unexplored research area which deserves further analysis.

Article
Publication date: 13 August 2018

Tom Kwanya and Christine Stilwell

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the leadership styles that academic and research librarians apply as well as their effectiveness in meeting their institutions…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the leadership styles that academic and research librarians apply as well as their effectiveness in meeting their institutions’ strategic objectives. The study also compared and contrasted the leadership styles and their corresponding impact in the effective delivery of academic and research library services in Kenya and South Africa.

Design/methodology/approach

The study applied a survey research technique to garner the opinions of the librarians about the leadership styles of their leaders. Primary data were collected through key informant interviews with academic and research librarians. Additional data were collected through documentary analysis. The data were analysed and processed through content analysis.

Findings

The findings indicate that most academic and research library leaders in South Africa and Kenya embrace a democratic leadership style. The results also show that most academic and research librarians hold the view that the leadership styles of their managers have a great impact on their individual performance and overall organisational effectiveness.

Practical implications

The results of the study can be used to recommend or adopt leadership styles which have a higher potential of making a greater impact in Kenyan and South African academic and research libraries. The results can also be used as the basis for relevant curricula and policy development.

Originality/value

The role of university librarians as leaders and the determinants of the effectiveness of academic and research library leaders, including leadership styles, have received minimal attention from scholars, particularly those in Africa. This study addresses the gap as it investigated the impact of the leadership styles of academic and research librarians on the effectiveness of their institutions, compared the academic and research library leadership scenarios in South Africa with Kenya, and makes recommendations on how to enhance leadership effectiveness.

Details

Library Management, vol. 39 no. 6-7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-5124

Keywords

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