So You Want to Be an Academic Library Director

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  • Description
  • Table of Contents
  • About the author
  • Reviews

Whether you're a new academic library director or a goal-minded manager, you can take concrete steps to gain and strengthen the leadership skills necessary for the job. That's the empowering message of this new collection which offers critical reflection to illuminate the path ahead. Featuring contributions from seasoned veterans sharing several careers' worth of lessons learned, this book

  • explores key facets of beginning leadership such as surviving the first year, the art of asking, and becoming a supervisor;
  • deals with strategic planning, team-building, shared governance, forming and maintaining important relationships, community outreach, and other crucial skills;
  • discusses safety, personnel-related legal issues, building a new library, managing change, and other potentially stressful situations; and
  • includes a chapter on cultural diversity programming.

This work offers a starting point from which academic library directors and aspirants can learn about various leadership skills and then plan their own professional development accordingly.


Chapter 1  

Navigating Institutional Culture: Building Bridges and Not Burning Them
by Peg Seiden and Eleanor Mitchell

Chapter 2 

The Art of Asking: Communicating Expectations within Your Library
by Samantha Schmehl Hines

Chapter 3  

Collaboration in Connecticut Public Higher Education Libraries
by Patricia S. Banach

Chapter 4  

The Sum of Its Parts: Building Teamwork in the Modern Academic Library Environment
by Emy Nelson Decker

Chapter 5  

Iterative Strategic Planning: Lessons Learned in the Trenches
Bradford Lee Eden

Chapter 6  

So, You Find Yourself Supervising Faculty Librarians: What Now?
by Jonathan Miller

Chapter 7  

It’s Always Personal: Developing an Awareness of Employment Law
by Kim Clarke

Chapter 8  

Facilities for the Director: Communication and Process
Theresa Liedtka and Virginia Cairns

Chapter 9  

Library Safety and Security
by Lisa Beinhoff

Chapter 10  

Why Shared Governance Is Both the Worst and Best Model for Decision-Making in Libraries
by Gary Fitsimmons

Chapter 11  

Relationships with Stakeholders
by Patricia Tully

Chapter 12  

Reframing Community Relations: Four Perspectives on a Children’s Book Event
by Adam Murray

Chapter 13  

Cultural Diversity Programming at Academic Libraries: Skills for Success
by Christopher Shaffer

About the Authors

Colleen S. Harris

Colleen S. Harris serves as information literacy coordinator and assistant librarian at the Broome Library on the California State University Channel Islands faculty. Previously, she served as head of access services at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, and as assistant head of access and delivery services at North Carolina State University. Harris received her MLS degree from the University of Kentucky, an MFA in writing from Spalding University (Louisville, Kentucky), and an EdD in learning & leadership from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Her work has appeared as book chapters in Library Management Tips That Work (2011), The Frugal Librarian (2011), Writing and Publishing: The Librarian’s Handbook (2010), and Teaching Generation M: A Handbook for Librarians and Educators (2009); and as articles in Library Review, Journal of Access Services, The Bottom Line: Managing Library Finances, and Library Journal. Harris also served as coeditor of the collection Women on Poetry: Writing, Revising, Publishing and Teaching (2012), and is a three-time Pushcart Prize nominee for her poetry and short fiction. Her research interests include academic library leadership and management, library instruction impacts on student learning, and applied research methods in academic settings.

"Institutions with library science programs will want to consider this ... Some other academic libraries which support schools of education, or have staff interested in moving into library administration, may also wish to consider it."

"The chapters cover a wide range of topics and benefit from the deep experiences of the authors ... Overall, this is a helpful introduction for librarians who are interested in the challenges of library leadership positions."
— Catholic Library World