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Article
Publication date: 5 August 2014

Umit Konya and Neslihan Gurel

Libraries need library leaders who are able to follow the changes and developments and keep pace with them, manage and shape the changes, bring theories and practices…

Abstract

Purpose

Libraries need library leaders who are able to follow the changes and developments and keep pace with them, manage and shape the changes, bring theories and practices together, be solution-oriented, people-oriented, environment-oriented, well-appointed, successful, and creative, because of the rapid developments and continuous changes. In this context, it has become more important for library managers to improve their leadership skills. In the scope of this study, a questionnaire study has been conducted with staff working in 168 different university central libraries. Information form, consisting of 16 questions about librarians’ demographic characteristics and manager satisfaction and Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire is used for data accumulation. The purpose of this paper is to determine library managers’ leadership approaches in private and public university libraries of Turkey and to survey library staff's satisfaction with their managers.

Design/methodology/approach

This research is a methodological and descriptive research. Original sample of this research consists of 168 university central library in total (103 public-65 private) and approximately 500 library employee 183 library employees from 20 public university central libraries (108 employees) and 13 private university central libraries responded. Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire, so sample of this research consists of 33 libraries and 183 questionnaire answers. 20.62 percent of the library employees of the target group had responded the Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire.

Findings

In total, 183 employees (108 public and 75 private university central libraries) from 33 university central libraries are responded to Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire. Multiple responses were gained from 183 library employees of whom 57.4 percent (105) were female and 42.6 percent (78) were male. When the age distribution is concerned it has determined that 25.1 percent (46) of the participants were centered on 26-34 age group. Other age distributions are defined as in the following: ages 20-25, 19.7 percent (36); ages 31-35, 18.6 percent (34); ages 36-40, 13.7 percent (25); ages 41-45, 15.8 percent (29); and age 46 and over, 7.1 percent.

Originality/value

As with all organizations, library managers with leadership qualities are needed in the field of library science. Organizational structures of libraries are constantly changing. Libraries need library leaders who are able to follow the changes and developments and keep pace with them, manage and shape the changes, bring theories and practices together, be solution-oriented, people-oriented, environment-oriented, well-appointed, successful, and creative, because of the rapid developments and continuous changes.

Details

Library Management, vol. 35 no. 6/7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-5124

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Article
Publication date: 11 January 2013

Louise Mort Feldmann, Allison V. Level and Shu Liu

The aim of this paper is to describe a process undertaken by Colorado State University Libraries' (CSUL) faculty to address concerns regarding their leadership training…

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this paper is to describe a process undertaken by Colorado State University Libraries' (CSUL) faculty to address concerns regarding their leadership training and development opportunities within the Libraries.

Design/methodology/approach

A Task Force (TF) under the direction of the Libraries Faculty Council (LFC) collected and examined feedback from the faculty librarians, reviewed professional literature, and made recommendations to the Libraries' administration and the Council.

Findings

Recommendations by the TF include: possible training initiatives, leadership role development, and improvement of organizational communication. The work of the TF heightened awareness of the issue within the Libraries. An LFC standing committee is now exploring and offering leadership training opportunities on an ongoing basis. An organizational climate survey has been completed and its results shared among the library faculty to address the issue of communication. In addition, the Libraries' administration has launched a number of strategic initiatives that were open to faculty and staff for leadership and participation. A number of faculty librarians are now leading these initiatives based on their professional strengths and interests.

Originality/value

This article has value to academic librarians and library administrators as they consider improving leadership training and development opportunities in their libraries. As middle management positions in academic libraries diminish, consideration must be given to how academic librarians gain experience or are trained in order to be well‐prepared for future leadership positions. Additionally, library administration should be instrumental in providing such opportunities to their librarians to ensure professional growth.

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Book part
Publication date: 24 November 2015

William H. Weare

It has been widely projected in the library literature that a substantial number of librarians will retire in the near future leaving significant gaps in the workforce…

Abstract

It has been widely projected in the library literature that a substantial number of librarians will retire in the near future leaving significant gaps in the workforce, especially in library leadership. Many of those concerned with organizational development in libraries have promoted succession planning as an essential tool for addressing this much-anticipated wave of retirements. The purpose of this chapter is to argue that succession planning is the wrong approach for academic libraries. This chapter provides a review of the library literature on succession planning, as well as studies analyzing position announcements in librarianship which provide evidence as to the extent to which academic librarianship has changed in recent years. In a review of the library literature, the author found no sound explanation of why succession planning is an appropriate method for filling anticipated vacancies and no substantive evidence that succession planning programs in libraries are successful. Rather than filling anticipated vacancies with librarians prepared to fill specific positions by means of a succession planning program, the author recommends that academic library leaders should focus on the continual evaluation of current library needs and future library goals, and treat each vacancy as an opportunity to create a new position that will best satisfy the strategic goals of the library. In contrast to the nearly universal support for succession planning found in the library literature, this chapter offers a different point of view.

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Book part
Publication date: 24 July 2014

Anne Goulding and J. Graham Walton

The concept of distributed leadership within library services is explored in this chapter. It focuses on how this model of leadership, which devolves leadership functions…

Abstract

The concept of distributed leadership within library services is explored in this chapter. It focuses on how this model of leadership, which devolves leadership functions and practice widely throughout organizations, can lead to intra- and interorganizational collaboration as a catalyst for library service development and innovation. The chapter discusses the distributed leadership approach by presenting selected results of a study of team leaders in public and university library services in the East Midlands region of the United Kingdom. The study employed an online questionnaire and individual interviews with library team leaders to identify the level and nature of collaboration taking place in library services and also to ascertain the skills needed for successful partnership work. The interviews focused primarily on how and why collaborations occurred and it emerged that the team leaders had considerable autonomy to establish and participate in partnerships, fitting well within the distributed leadership paradigm. The chapter adds to, and augments the limited literature on distributed models of leadership in libraries by exploring how this approach works in practice. It also proposes and evidences a link between distributed leadership, collaborative working, and innovation. The authors suggest that distributed leadership can help library services innovate and lead service development by freeing up the creativity of employees through a less formal, hierarchical leadership approach. The chapter ends with propositions for a research agenda to establish the best conditions and most appropriate format of distributed leadership in library services.

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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

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Book part
Publication date: 17 August 2020

Freeda Brook and Martinique Hallerduff

Feminist leadership in libraries is an emerging area of interest. Distinct from traditional leadership or female leadership, it includes such values as critiquing systems…

Abstract

Feminist leadership in libraries is an emerging area of interest. Distinct from traditional leadership or female leadership, it includes such values as critiquing systems of oppression, valuing whole people, empowering individuals, and sharing information. Here we ask, what do feminist academic library leaders do? And can academic libraries operate as sites of resistance to systems of oppression? We surveyed 55 people and conducted 23 semi-structured interviews with library leaders focusing on how they enact feminist values in the workplace. In this chapter, we explore several key themes that emerged through our research: how library leaders specifically advocate for their staff and users, how organizational structures support or resist feminist leadership, and how decision-making functions in their organizations. While there is no single way to be a feminist leader, we discuss the varied ways our participants enact their feminism, from day-to-day words and actions to larger initiatives and programs. As to whether these libraries are functioning as feminist organizations and able to resist or even change dominant oppressive systems of power, the results are unclear. The culture of the parent institutions seems to be a decisive factor in how academic libraries operate, and none of our participants report success at fully breaking away from those norms. Yet our participants also demonstrate how they have sidestepped or even changed official policies to be more inclusive and flexible. In this chapter we present clear examples of feminist values enacted in academic libraries as well as direction for further research.

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Article
Publication date: 7 January 2014

Jill Mierke

This case study aims to explain why one Canadian academic library chose to design and deliver in-house leadership development training for its employees, rather than…

Abstract

Purpose

This case study aims to explain why one Canadian academic library chose to design and deliver in-house leadership development training for its employees, rather than taking a consortial approach, and seeks to highlight the impact of this decision on the library's organizational culture.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper is presented in three parts: the benefits and challenges of in-house, external and consortial training; the impact of an in-house leadership development program at the University Library at the University of Saskatchewan; and considerations when deciding whether to collaborate on the provision of employee training. The author draws upon her own personal experiences as the Director of Human Resources for the library, and presents evidence acquired through surveys, observations, and conversations.

Findings

The paper explains how a deliberate decision to provide in-house leadership training had a transformative effect on individual employees and the organization.

Practical implications

When considering collaborating to provide leadership development training, library administrators should ensure the pros and cons of doing so are thoroughly explored; the pressure to collaborate can sometimes lead to participation in activities simply to be seen as a “good library citizen,” and often such activities are not necessarily contributing to the strategic goals of the library. In economically challenging times, library leaders and decision makers will need to be very aware of these implications.

Originality/value

This paper discusses why a library chose an in-house approach to leadership development training rather than a consortial approach. This article has value to library administrators as they consider implementing leadership development training in their libraries.

Details

Library Management, vol. 35 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-5124

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Article
Publication date: 23 October 2009

Vicki Williamson

The paper aims to provide an overview of the background and context of the decision by a Canadian research library to invest in developing and implementing its own…

Abstract

Purpose

The paper aims to provide an overview of the background and context of the decision by a Canadian research library to invest in developing and implementing its own in‐house library leadership development program (LLDP).

Design/methodology/approach

This paper is a case study and is presented in three parts: leadership circumstances within the Canadian research libraries, with particular reference to The Future of Human Resources in Canadian Libraries (the 8Rs Study), the University Library at the University of Saskatchewan and its Strategic Plan, with particular reference to its relationship and engagement strategy and other strategic HR initiatives; and the conceptualisation, content and competencies of the LLDP. This paper discusses why and how a leadership development program has been implemented.

Findings

The paper shows that LLDP is a work‐in‐progress and is a practical step in a journey to change organizational culture, and build individual and organizational leadership capacity.

Practical implications

While some of the context is Canadian specific, the local strategy implementation has relevance and applicability in other academic and research library contexts.

Originality/value

This paper provides a discussion of current leadership challenges for Canadian research libraries, including a leadership development strategy exemplified by the experiences and work underway at the library at the University of Saskatchewan.

Details

Library Management, vol. 30 no. 8/9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-5124

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Article
Publication date: 15 September 2020

Daniel Earl Wilson

The purpose of this paper is to explore academic library leadership behaviors and the methods for integrating the democratic and transformational leadership styles.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore academic library leadership behaviors and the methods for integrating the democratic and transformational leadership styles.

Design/methodology/approach

Eleven structured interviews were conducted with academic deans and directors. A thematic content analysis was conducted on their responses, analyzing the frequency of certain topics and identifying emergent themes. These themes were then used to construct a democratic communication model.

Findings

The interview responses were grouped into five general leadership themes: participation in decision-making, relationship building, frequent and honest communication, equality and knowing the environment.

Research limitations/implications

The structured interview format did not permit for unplanned follow-up questions, and some topics may not have come up in every interview unless specifically asked by an interview question. Due to the qualitative nature of this study, the perspectives of the participants may not be generalizable to the larger population.

Practical implications

This study identifies core themes of leadership practice that extend beyond the focus of transformational leadership alone. It suggests a democratic communication model to assist in integrating democratic leadership methods with transformational practices and goals.

Social implications

This study suggests a greater emphasis on the communication and engagement practices of democratic leadership. In doing so, it suggests that the American Library Association's emphasis on transformational leadership alone should be reconsidered and that library science schools should increase focus on democratic leadership practices.

Originality/value

Most library leadership style studies emphasize transformational leadership. While there are some studies that explore elements of democratic leadership such as engagement and a flattening of organizational hierarchy, there is limited research on the integration of democratic and transformational leadership practices.

Details

Library Management, vol. 41 no. 8/9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-5124

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Article
Publication date: 8 June 2015

Binh P. Le

The purpose of this paper is to focus on academic library leadership in the digital age. Primarily, the goals are to identify: first, the top five major challenges facing…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to focus on academic library leadership in the digital age. Primarily, the goals are to identify: first, the top five major challenges facing academic library leadership; second, the top five most important leadership skills required for effective academic library leadership; and finally, the top five best ways to develop these academic library leadership skills.

Design/methodology/approach

A survey was conducted to elicit responses from individuals who hold senior library leadership positions in American academic libraries throughout the USA. The participants were identified through several means: the web sites of the ALA and its divisions; the web sites of American universities; referrals; and the author’s professional contacts. To simplify the survey research process, e-mails including the survey research questions were sent to potential participants. In all, 38 invitations (n=38) were sent out to large and medium-size academic libraries throughout the USA. Over 36.8 percent (n=14) of the participants returned the survey. The participants represent a wide spectrum of libraries.

Findings

The top five major challenges are how to: demonstrate the library values to the university community, operate the library under fiscal uncertainty, retrofit outdated library facilities to accommodate new services, strike a balance between digital and print materials, and keep the library staff trained and current. The top five essential academic library leadership attributes are: vision, integrity, management skills, collaboration skills, and communication skills. The top five best ways to acquire these skills include the need to have mentors, to attend leadership development programs, to gain practical library leadership experience, to seek leadership roles, and to know oneself.

Originality/value

Research in this area is rather limited. As a result, this study will contribute to the academic library leadership literature and help current and aspiring academic library leaders worldwide with insightful leadership lessons needed to lead academic libraries successfully in this transformational era.

Details

Library Management, vol. 36 no. 4/5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-5124

Keywords

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