Developing the Next Generation of Library Leaders (ACRL Publications in Librarianship No. 75)—eEditions PDF e-book

The download link for this product can be found on the final confirmation screen after you complete your purchase, and may also be accessed from your Account Profile. For more information about ALA eEditions file types and how to view them on eReaders, desktop computers, and other devices, see this page.

ALA Member
Item Number

Primary tabs

You don't need to be an ALA Member to purchase from the ALA Store, but you'll be asked to create an online account/profile during the checkout to proceed. This Web Account is for both Members and non-Members. 

If you are Tax-Exempt, please verify that your account is currently set up as exempt before placing your order, as our new fulfillment center will need current documentation. Learn how to verify here.

  • Description
  • Table of Contents
  • About the author

Developing the Next Generation of Library Leaders provides myriad insights into the motivations, challenges, and pathways to leadership for those contemplating a move into hierarchical leadership.”
—From the Foreword by Mary Ann Mavrinac, MLS, EdD

The leadership and management skills and competencies needed to lead an academic library are not always limited to domain-based expertise developed in graduate school and honed over careers. Librarians in administrative positions, both within the organization and the greater university leadership structure, need to be entrepreneurial in their approach to leadership and become systems thinkers: consider the overarching structures in which they operate, identify collaborative opportunities to strengthen their organizations, and creatively lead bold change in order to keep their organizations relevant.

Developing the Next Generation of Library Leaders examines how the library profession can foster this skill development for new leaders through the leadership stories and development of twenty-two assistant/associate deans. Ten big ideas emerged through this research:  

  • Developing a career ladder
  • Mitigating identity crisis
  • Learning theory, applying to practice
  • Support
  • Find your people
  • Leadership pause points
  • Alternative leadership and management models
  • Demystifying leadership and management
  • Succession planning
  • Battling gender-based doubts

Each of these ideas include questions as well as recommendations that, when taken together, offer a holistic approach to shrinking the leadership gap in our profession and preparing the next generation of library leaders to move the profession forward and meet the evolving challenges of higher education.


Foreword by Mary Ann Mavrinac, MLS, EdD

Chapter 1: Review of the Literature

  • Demographics
  • Core Competencies
  • Career Pathways: Entering Leadership and Management Positions
  • Skill Gaps
  • Document Analysis

Chapter 2: Methods

  • Limitations

Chapter 3: Personal Narrative

  • Leadership
  • Supervisory Experience

Chapter 4: Skill Development

  • Anticipated Skills
  • Skills Needed as Advanced in Career
  • Gaining Skills

Chapter 5: Career Path

  • Do-Over
  • Most Influential Person
  • Best Advice
  • Motivation: First Management Position
  • Motivation: Subsequent Leadership and Management Roles

Chapter 6: Developing the Next Generation of Library Leaders

  • Lessons Learned
  • Similarities and Differences in Career Paths
  • Leadership Skill Development Opportunities
  • Succession Planning
  • Self-Identifying an Interest in Leadership and Management Skills Development
  • Impact on the Organization
  • Impact on the Profession

Chapter 7: Career Aspirations

  • Motivation

About the Author


Lori Birrell

Lori Birrell is the Associate Dean for Special Collections at the University of Arkansas. Her research interests include leadership development, organizational change and culture. She has an MA in History from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, an MLIS from Simmons College, and an EdD in Higher Education Administration from the University of Rochester.