University Libraries Faculty Publications

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Are librarians prepared to lead academic libraries into the increasingly complex future of higher education? Results will be shared from a survey using the Bolman and Deal leadership orientation framework (1990, 1991, 1992, 2003) to explore how academic library leaders and managers in Ohio and Michigan prefer to interpret and solve problems. Consisting of four frames, librarians can view situations through a structural lens (involving policies, rules and organizational charts), a human resources lens (tending to the needs of employees), the political lens (competing for power and scarce resources) or the symbolic lens (storytelling, traditions and symbols). Research conducted in other fields with this framework suggests that those using multiple frames are more effective and that use of the political and symbolic frames are more indicative of leaders rather than managers. Results may affirm that librarians are ready to lead or they may suggest where professional development is needed.

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