Interim Leadership in Libraries: Building Effective Models and Processes

Thursday, 10/8/2020
  • 2:00 PM-3:00 PM (Eastern)
  • 1:00 PM-2:00 PM (Central)
  • 12:00 PM-1:00 PM (Mountain)
  • 11:00 AM-12:00 PM (Pacific)

Interim leadership presents complicated calculus for both institutions and individuals. This interactive webcast will review different interim models and processes, pros and cons, as well as pitfalls and benefits for both the organization and the interim leaders. Visiting, interim, temporary, and acting roles in Libraries are commonly used to solve a variety of personnel vacancies. Massive turnover, primarily driven by retirements at the most senior levels, coupled with long lead times for hiring, has led to more libraries being led by interim leaders. Add to these factors pandemic-related hiring slow downs or freezes, and interim leadership might become the only realistic option. But how do you decide whether to seek interim leadership, whom to choose, whether to apply, how long to stay, and what to do when it’s over? This session will assist organizations and individuals in identifying the best path for them.

Learning Outcomes

  • Participants will understand different models of interim leadership in order to determine whether interim leadership makes sense for their organization or for themselves.

  • Participants will be able to articulate the potential risks and rewards for both organizations and leaders in order to carefully consider needs and opportunities.

  • Participants will be able to identify strategies to succeed as an interim leader or to create an environment where interim leaders can succeed.

Who Should Attend

  • Library leaders who are facing potential gaps in their staffing and need to decide whether and how to employ an interim leader

  • Aspiring or existing leaders who are considering seeking an interim leadership role

  • Personnel at institutions with interim leaders who want to understand how to navigate working for an interim leader


Jennifer Knievel served in three interim Associate Dean of Libraries roles over 2.5 years at the University of Colorado Boulder. She is currently a Professor and Lead of the Researcher & Collections Engagement Team in the University Libraries. Her current research interests include mentoring, professional development, and workplace satisfaction for librarians.

Leslie Reynolds is a Professor and Senior Associate Dean of Libraries at the University of Colorado Boulder. She has held four interim roles in her career.  First at the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign as Visiting Assistant Engineering Librarian, later as Interim Dean for User Services at Texas A&M University, the University of Colorado Boulder’s interim Dean of Libraries and most recently as the Interim Dean of the Graduate School.  She has held library management positions since 2001.



ACRL member: $50
ALA member: $75
Nonmember: $90
Student: $40
Group*: $295

*DURING THIS TIME OF COVID-19 RELATED LIBRARY CLOSURES: For purposes of group registration, ACRL will define a group as up to 30 individuals from a single institution working remotely and logging in individually from multiple locations to participate in the live webcast. Also, group registration includes access to the archived recording for one year for unlimited staff at a registered institution.

How to Register

  • Locate the webcast by the date of the event under the October 2020 heading.
  • Select the "Register" link next to the webcast title.
  • You will need to log in with your ALA ID & password. If you do not have an ALA ID & password, you will be asked to create one in order to register.

Tech Requirements

ACRL Webcasts are held in an Adobe Connect virtual classroom. Speakers or a headset for listening to the presentation are required. You may interact with the presenter and ask questions through text-based chat.  Adobe works on both PC and Apple platforms.

The webcast will be recorded and the link to the recording will be shared shortly after the live event.


If you have a question about an e-Learning opportunity or need to make arrangements for special assistance, please contact Margot Conahan (