All professional librarians carry leadership roles in their libraries. The leadership capacity of librarians at all levels in an academic library is a key factor that can determine the library’s performance, effectiveness, innovation, agility, and adaptability in the changing higher-education landscape. How do librarians build leadership skills? What can library directors do to help their staff develop leadership skills? From anecdotes of practitioners as well as empirical research, we understand that librarians develop leadership capacity through day-to-day life and work. Whether and how librarians grow with these daily experiences depend a lot on the individuals’ motivation to learn. However, to facilitate workplace learning and staff motivation to learn, library directors can look at their organizational context to find leverage. Furthermore, they should consider a systemic and strategic approach to make sure the leadership development efforts are reinforcing, coherent, and sustaining. This paper describes how leadership development happens in academic libraries, and how organizational factors influence the opportunities for and motivation of librarians to develop leadership skills. It proposes to library decision-makers to adopt a systemic and strategic approach, to consider leadership development as long-term planning and coordinated design, with consideration for the development needs of individual librarians as well as the library.
IATUL 2023: 43rd International Association of University Libraries Annual Conference. Dubai & Sharjah, United Arab Emirates (March 13-16, 2023)
Library and Information Science
Leadership development, Organization structure, Organization culture, Motivation, Staff development
Wong, Gabi, "Systems and strategies for developing leadership skills of academic librarians" (2023). IATUL 2023 Slides. 9.
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