SCONUL has commissioned research intended to challenge new and existing library leaders to reflect upon their strategic impact and influence. Professor David Baker and Alison Allden OBE have been commissioned to explore two interconnected aspects of leadership; the characteristics required to lead the academic library in uncertain times and a “View from Above” examining perspectives on the library leader’s role within the broader organisation based on a set of interviews with strategic leaders outside the library. Both of these strands will be underpinned by a literature review.
The research is being overseen by the the Leadership Task and Finish Group (LTFG), an 18 month project to build leadership capacity in the sector. It is is working on creating a set of tailored resources and tools to equip librarians to optimise their roles as strategic leaders.
The research will include interviews with two groups; library leaders who have moved on to higher level roles within HEIs and COO, Pro Vice-Chancellor, or equivalent roles as the line managers of Library Directors. The literature review is due to be completed in early March to inform the other areas of work with delivery of final versions of the project data and outcomes from the consultants in May. The aim is to present early stage results at the SCONUL conference.