University Libraries.

Topics in Information Studies: Leadership in Libraries

Traditionally, when we think of leaders in the workplace, we think of managers and directors - or whoever sits above our position on an organizational chart - but this is not always the case. Managers and directors are not always ideal leaders, but even if they are, that does not mean that lower level staff are incapable of being leaders in their field. There is also that idea of a "natural leader," where many fall into that role by default because of their personality or professional skills. But what makes a good leader and how can you grow your leadership skills? Keep reading for tips on professional development and researching leadership skill within the library setting.

Student Leadership Roles

It's never too early to get active in professional associations, and with a variety of opportunities available through the University, why wait? Two prominent student groups at UAlbany are ASIS&T and ISSA. The UAlbany Student Chapter of ASIS&T (Association for Information Science & Technology) is part of the international professional association that covers the entire scope of the information sciences, with an emphasis on information technology. ISSA (Information Science Student Association) is run by three Co-Presidents, each a President of the UAlbany Student Chapters of the American Library Association, the New York Library Association, and the Society of American Archivists. You can refer to each association's webpage for meeting and event info, and to learn more about professional development each offers. Both organizations offer opportunities to build your leadership skills, to enhance your CV, and if you fill an officer position you can also fulfill certain Civil Service exam requirements.

Research Assistance

The majority of the research you will want to do is related to developing your own leadership skills, and a great place to start is national and state library organizations. The American Library Association (ALA) Libraries Transform page features links to a Leadership Institute for future library leaders; resources to grow your leadership skills in a variety of areas such as collaboration, technology, and personal development; their Emerging Leaders Program and much more! If you join ALA, you might also want to think of joining their LLAMA section, which stands for Library Leadership & Management Association. LLAMA also has a variety of resources you can explore such as their mentoring program and webinars. If you join NYLA (New York Library Association), they also have a leadership section you can join, LAMS (Leadership & Management Section). For your research you can even browse LAMS' journal, JLAMS, accessible online through Scholars Archive.

If you want to find scholarly articles on leadership in libraries, you can simply use "leadership in libraries" as your search terms in LISTA. If you're focusing on a specific type of library, you can narrow your search down even further by using "leadership" with "public libraries," "academic libraries," or "school libraries." You can also use the same search methods in LISA.


Books Available at Dewey

  • Almquist, A.J., & Almquist, S.G. (2017). Intrapreneurship handbook for librarians: How to be a change agent in your library. Santa Barbara, CA: Libraries Unlimited.
    Dewey Library / Z678 .A65 2017
  • Curzon, S.C. (2014). What every library director should know. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.
    Dewey Library / Z678 .C888 2014
  • Freeman, V., & Freeman, R. (2017). Creating a new library: Recipes for transformation. Cambridge, MA: Chandos Publishing.
    Online / Z679
  • Halaychik, C.S. (2016). Lessons in library leadership: A primer for library managers and unit leaders. Cambridge, MA: Elsevier.
    Online / Z678 .H35 2016
  • O'Connor, S. (Ed.). (2015). Library management in disruptive times: Skills and knowledge for an uncertain future. London, UK: Facet Publishing.
    Dewey Library / Z678 .L4877 2015
  • VanDuinkerken, W., & Kaspar, W.A. (2015). Leading libraries: How to create a service culture. Chicago, IL: ALA Editions.
    Dewey Library / Z711 .V36 2015

Need Additional Assistance?

Help is available! Contact Carol Anne Germain, Subject Librarian for Information Science, at (518)-442-3698 or - or stop by during her office hours, held on Wednesdays from 11am-1pm.

Blog Created By: Kristen Thornton-De Stafeno
Image Credit: Kristen Thornton-De Stafeno

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