Newly Appointed Leaders

Library leaders taking on their first role as a head of service face a particular set of challenges associated with operating as part of the institution’s leadership. Research commissioned by SCONUL looking at how library leaders are viewed by university leaders may be helpful in considering how to develop their own leadership style.  SCONUL's new mentoring scheme and our groups for new directors may also be helpful. 

We suggest that newly appointed leaders:

find a mentor SCONUL is re-launching our mentoring scheme for emerging and newly appointed leaders. If you are interested either in finding or becoming a mentor, please see our resources.
join a group for newly appointed leaders

SCONUL facilitates the creation of new groups of directors who come together to share experience and learn from each other in an informal way. If you're not already involved in one of these groups and would like to be, you can  register your interest by emailing

learn from the latest research

What strategies can library leaders employ to ‘lead in uncertain times’? Which approaches to leadership are needed in the context of continuous and rapid organisational, legislative, and technological change? To explore these questions read the Leading libraries literature review 

understand how others see us

What are the views of university senior leaders about academic library leadership and culture? SCONUL commissioned Professor David Baker and Alison Allden OBE to conduct an investigation into this question, and has published the results in 'The View from Above’. Separately, 'The View from Beyond’ looks at international perspectives. 

evaluate your own service

There are a range of 360 degree appraisal tools available that can help SCONUL members ensure their strategic alignment and readiness for change. We recommend members work with their organisational / staff development team to explore the development and introduction of a 360 degree appraisal tool that best meet their need