What Makes A Good Academic Library Director

I’m sure we all have our own ideas about this topic, and you may have previously followed the research of Peter Hernon, Ronald Powell, and Arthur P. Yolung on the attributes of library directors (a book, several articles in College & Research Libraries and one in Library Journal).

Although it’s just one of several topics discussed in this podcast that features Susan Perry and her work with the Council on Library and Information Resources and the Mellon Foundation, Perry comments on her view of core competencies for academic library directors. Here’s what makes her list of core competencies for library directors:

* understand web page development
* expertise with digital assets management
* ability to work with scholars and students to make the right information accessible
* ability to work well with information technologists (e.g., campus computing)
* ability to mentor others (help them keep up with latest trends)

Clearly the focus is the technology aspects of library leadership, and in the podcast there is a fair amount of talk about scholarly publishing as the issue of the day. I would have liked to hear more about the role of user education for library technology , and how the library director can set the stage for it to be integrated into the curriculum. From my perspective, a critical attribute for library directors (moreso for colleges and small universities than research libraries) is the ability to integrate the library into the curriculum, and that only happens when the director, working collaboratively with library staff and other academic support professionals, is able to connect with faculty and encourage them to integrate library resources into their coursework.

By the way, the podcasts created by EDUCAUSE are among the easiest to take advantage of because you don’t even need to download them. Simply click on the play button on the page and the podcast will begin. Of course, there is also a link to the mp3 file for those that prefer to download the podcast.