Losing Our Libraries: Misguided Leadership

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Alex McAllister, Associate Professor, Coordinator of Collection Management (Creator)
Allan G. Scherlen, Professor and Social Sciences Librarian (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
Web Site: https://library.appstate.edu/

Abstract: Previous studies have indicated that academic libraries can be stressful places to work, with one of the main reasons being poor leadership. Library administrators continue to fit a common mold transitioning academic libraries into more business-like models focusing strongly on assessment, goals, and data. Throw these values in with the need to pursue innovation, and academic libraries are becoming more chaotic places to work, especially for those who value qualitative information and research. Over the years, libraries have added innovative spaces at the expense of collections, but many fear this insatiable appetite to seem innovative neglects the academic. In other words, there is a shifting of resources and attention away from those academic needs that have made the library a necessary place for the success of students, faculty, and researchers. The question many library leaders ignore is, “What do faculty and students still need from the library?” In a follow-up to Scherlen and McAllister’s Voices Versus Visions: A Commentary on Academic Library Collections and New Directions, the authors expanded on the idea that library leaders can create stressful, even toxic, work environments based on business-like models at the expense of academia and in their pursuit to be at the forefront of technology. As libraries continue to deal with high administrative turnover, the audience will be asked to engage in a discussion. A few possible questions include: What impacts do these changes have on your library? Are the changes worth the price? What can we do to preserve the core library mission of research?

Additional Information

McAllister, A. Scherlen, A. & Hollandsworth, R. (2023). “Losing Our Libraries: Misguided Leadership,” in Bernhardt, B., Hinds, L., & Meyer, Charleston Conference Proceedings, Nov. 2022. https://doi.org/10.3998/mpub.14369519. Available open access at: https://www.fulcrum.org/epubs/tb09j8935?locale=en#page=547
Language: English
Date: 2023
libraries, higher education, academic libraries, research, technology, innovation

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