Leadership: Strategic Thinking, Decision Making, Communication, and Relationship Building

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Guiding school librarians to new levels of leadership, this book breaks down the National School Library Standards into authentic, easily accessible components school librarians can apply to develop their leadership style and skills. By defining and explaining how the AASL Standards advance leadership, readers will begin to recognize the leadership behaviors that connect school libraries to learner growth. Strategies, interactive tools, and best practices support readers’ further evolution into reflective leaders who spearhead library initiatives instead of being receivers of decisions. This book’s practical approach includes

  • exploration of key leadership dispositions and concepts that are addressed through the Domains and Shared Foundations;
  • real-life examples with which school librarians can identify and visualize taking theory from the abstract to authentic application in their own settings; and
  • reflective questions, self-assessment tools, and breakthrough skills allowing readers to deepen learning and develop powerful takeaways.

This resource will aid school library leaders as they work to strengthen their practice and incorporate the scope of the AASL Standards into their planning and interactions with stakeholders.

Examination copies are available for instructors who are interested in adopting this title for course use.


Part A    Strategic Thinking
Chapter 1    Vision
Chapter 2    Innovation
Chapter 3    Taking Initiative
Reflection Questions, Self-Assessment, and Breakthrough Skills

Part B    Decision Making
Chapter 4    Problem Solving
Chapter 5    Critical Thinking
Chapter 6    Emotional Resilience
Reflection Questions, Self-Assessment, and Breakthrough Skills

Part C    Communication
Chapter 7    Integrity
Chapter 8    Clarity
Chapter 9    Delivery Methods
Reflection Questions, Self-Assessment, and Breakthrough Skills

Part D    Relationship Building
Chapter 10    Partnerships
Chapter 11    Self-Awareness
Chapter 12    Empowerment
Reflection Questions, Self-Assessment, and Breakthrough Skills

Works Cited

Ann M. Martin

Ann M. Martin most recently worked as the Educational Specialist for the Library Services Department in Henrico, Virginia. Ann is a mentor in the Lilead Fellows Project. Ann has received many awards including the 2011 AASL National School Library of the Year for the district. Ann is a Past President of the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) and is author of the book Empowering Leadership.

Kathleen Riopelle Roberts

Kathleen Riopelle Roberts is the School Librarian at Rivers Edge in Henrico County, Virginia. She was an ALA Emerging Leader. She was a member of the AASL Standards and Guidelines Editorial Board, helping to create the National School Library Standards and present a webinar to support the book.  She was selected as a candidate on the Fulbright Specialist Roster from December 2018-2021.

"Carefully constructed and thorough ... Recommended to libraries supporting graduate programs in school librarianship."
— Catholic Library World