Cover image for The next library leadership : attributes of academic and public library directors
The next library leadership : attributes of academic and public library directors
Hernon, Peter.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Westport, Conn. : Libraries Unlimited, 2003.
Physical Description:
xi, 192 pages ; 24 cm
Format :


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Z682.4.A34 H47 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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This much needed work addresses a topic of increasing importance and urgency: the shortage of individuals attracted to professional careers in librarianship, and the subsequent consequences for leadership positions, particularly library directorship. Through extensive interviews and a thorough review of the existing literature, the authors-all highly respected for their exceptional leadership and contributions to library science-assess what constitutes effective leadership and identify the traits needed by the next generation of academic and public library directors.

The authors argue that library directors must be both managers and leaders, and that LIS students and graduates need appropriate support in seeking out upper level positions and exercising leadership. They present tools for assessing leadership and suggest strategies that individuals can use to prepare themselves for leadership positions and the challenges that lie ahead. A detailed bibliography completes the work. An important contribution to the field of library and information science, this eye-opening study is essential reading for anyone in the profession.

Author Notes

PETER HERNON is Professor, Graduate School of Library and Information Science, Simmons College, Boston, Editor in Chief of Journal of Academic Librarianship , Founding Editor of Government Information Quarterly , Co-Editor of Library & Information Science Research , and an internationally acclaimed author of numerous books in the area of government information.

RONALD R. POWELL is Professor, Library and Information Science Program, Wayne State University, and author of the popular textbook Basic Research Methods in Librarianship , soon to be in its fourth edition.

ARTHUR P. YOUNG is Dean of University Libraries, Northern Illinois University, editor of Beta Phi Mu Monographs , former editor of ACRL Publications in Librarianship , and the author of many books.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

According to the authors of this research study, the severe shortage of librarians will lead to a diminishing pool of individuals from which to draw library leaders. Based on surveys of current practitioners as well as reviews of related literature, the study predicts effective attributes of future library directors. Individual chapters discuss the leadership qualities required of library directors in general and qualities expected of Association of Research Libraries, Association of College and Research Libraries, and public library directors. Other chapters analyze and compare qualities and offer tools for assessing and acquiring the qualities. Numerous figures and tables are used to present data. The book offers important guidelines for current and aspiring directors as well as for students and new librarians preparing for leadership positions. -- RBB Copyright 2004 Booklist

Library Journal Review

Hernon (GSLIS, Simmons Coll.; An Action Plan for Outcomes Assessment in Your Library) and coauthors Ronald R. Powell (LIS, Wayne State Univ.; Basic Research Methods for Librarians) and Arthur P. Young (Northern Illinois Univ. Libs.; coauthor, Academic Libraries: Research Perspectives) work in academia, and their heavily documented work reflects this academic background in both research and presentation. Concerned about the shortage of new librarians and the subsequent shrinkage of a pool of potential library leaders, the authors take a broad sweep at what constitutes leadership qualities. By conducting extensive interviews, reviewing and citing the literature, and applying the old Delphi process of forecasting, they assess and condense these traits into a manageable one-stop shopping list that could be used by those already serving as library directors for self-evaluation, by those looking to hire such leaders, or by those who might choose this career path. After ascertaining core leadership qualities, the authors move on to providing guidelines as to how to acquire them. The last chapter brings in Jeffrey Christian's (a well-known headhunter) "formula five of exceptional leadership": honesty and integrity, intellectual firepower, energy and passion, leadership, and humility. Ironically, only one of Christian's leadership traits made it into prominence in either the Delphi lists or interviews. While the profession does need to identify and recruit individuals committed to the long haul and nurture those who have leadership potential, it cannot do so just through practical experience or continuing education or lists of qualities/attributes. That having been said, for what this work sets out to do, it succeeds. For academic professional reading collections and library schools.AB. Susan Brown, Pamunkey Regional Lib., VA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Illustrationsp. vii
Prefacep. ix
Acknowledgmentsp. xiii
1 A Shortage of Librariansp. 1
National Librarian Shortagep. 1
Academic Library Directorships: In a State of Flux?p. 4
Employment Outlookp. 5
Challengesp. 6
Acute Shortage Impacting the Position of Director?p. 7
Conclusionp. 8
2 Qualities Expected of Library Directors: A Review of the Literaturep. 13
Leadership Qualitiesp. 14
Managerial Qualitiesp. 19
Personal Qualitiesp. 21
Knowledge Areasp. 22
Qualities for Medical Librariansp. 22
Conclusionp. 23
Appendix Competencies and Responsibilities of Top Management Teams in Public Librariesp. 23
3 Qualities for Association of Research Libraries (ARL) Directorsp. 35
Our Past Researchp. 36
Supplementary Viewsp. 40
Conclusionp. 62
4 Qualities for Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) Library Directorsp. 65
Delphi Studyp. 65
Supplementary Viewsp. 69
Conclusionp. 77
5 Qualities for Public Library Directorsp. 79
Delphi Studyp. 79
Supplementary Viewsp. 83
Conclusionp. 94
6 Analysis and Comparison of Qualitiesp. 97
ARL Directorsp. 97
ACRL Library Directorsp. 104
Public Library Directorsp. 109
Combined Listp. 113
Conclusionp. 119
7 Leadership Assessmentp. 127
Assessment Toolsp. 128
Assessment of Library Directorsp. 131
Self-Diagnostic Toolsp. 135
Moving beyond Self-Assessmentp. 136
Other Uses of the Qualitiesp. 136
Conclusionp. 137
8 Acquiring the Qualitiesp. 141
General Ways to Acquire the Qualitiesp. 144
Outcomes Assessmentp. 147
Leaders' Assessment of Acquiring the Qualitiesp. 148
State-level Leadership Initiativesp. 168
Conclusionp. 169
9 Hunting Heads and Final Reflectionsp. 171
The Headhunter Vortexp. 172
Reflections and a Modest Agendap. 175
Bibliographyp. 179
Indexp. 189