Developing your Leadership Potential: Effective Practices and Innovative Ideas

Wednesday, 5/20/2020
  • 2:00 PM-3:30 PM (Eastern)
  • 1:00 PM-2:30 PM (Central)
  • 12:00 PM-1:30 PM (Mountain)
  • 11:00 AM-12:30 PM (Pacific)

Despite the proliferation of leadership and mentoring programs, literature around leadership skill development, and related discussions in our professional associations, academic librarians still find themselves in leadership and management positions without advanced training or sufficient preparation to confidently and successfully fill those roles. ACRL recently published three books that address different aspects of leadership. In this webcast, participants will hear from the authors key take-aways from their work. Shin Freedman and James Freedman will share their seven stages of leadership development; Lori Birrell will share the ten big ideas that came out of her interviews with associate and assistant deans; Colleen Boff and Catherine Cardwell will drill down to the critical topic of change management, and introduce participants to John Kotter’s Eight-Stage Process of Creating Major Change, as a way of to successfully navigate the evolving landscape of higher education.

Learning Outcomes

  • Participants will develop an awareness of sustainable core leadership development strategies.
  • Participants will learn how to identify strengths and opportunities for leadership development.
  • Provide participants with practical strategies they can implement to foster leadership skill development.
  • Participants will gain an understanding of the challenges new leaders face, and strategies in order to better support those leaders.
  • Participants will become aware of John Kotter’s Eight-Stage Process of Creating Major Change, and how to apply those stages to bring about change in academic libraries.

Who Should Attend

  • Emerging leaders from the Next Generation in the LIS and information professionals.
  • Current library leadership, management and administrators interested in growing their leadership potential.
  • Mid-career librarians and information professionals considering leadership opportunities.


Dr. Lori Birrell joined the University of Arkansas in 2017. Prior to assuming that role, she worked at the University of Rochester as the American history manuscripts librarian. Birrell has actively engaged with the topic of leadership skill development since being an early career librarian. Dr. Birrell has a Doctorate in Higher Education from the University of Rochester. The topic of her dissertation was leadership skill development in academic libraries that then informed the research that led to Developing the Next Generation of lIbrary Leaders, published by ACRL in 2020. Dr. Birrell also has a Masters of Library and Information Science degree from Simmons College, and a Masters of History from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Shin Freedman is Head of Scholarly Resources & Collections for the Whittemore Library at Framingham State University (FSU). She teaches information literacy and devotes herself to research and evaluation. Prior to FSU, she worked at Brown University Sciences and Medical Libraries. In 2016, she was awarded a Fulbright Lecturer Award to China and taught library and information science to Chinese graduate students at Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, China. She also teaches professional communications in Beijing, China.  She earned an MBA from Bentley University and a MLS from Simmons University, Graduate School of Library and Information Science in Boston.

James Freedman specializes in developing leaders in multicultural organizations. With leadership development experience in Korea, China and the Philippines, Jim has a unique perspective on helping leaders become more effective leaders. He has been a guest lecturer on multicultural organizations at Zhejiang University. He was the Vice President of Global Leadership Development for Fresenius Medical Care.  He has an MBA from Bentley University and a BA from Holy Cross.

Dr. Colleen Boff has worked in academic libraries for twenty-three years and has held a wide range of library management and leadership positions for the past ten years, including program coordinator, department chair, associate dean, and head librarian of a specialized collection. In these capacities, she has contributed to or been at the forefront of leading change in her organization at the department level, library level, and university level. In addition to many conference presentations, she has published several peer-reviewed articles, book chapters, proceedings, and book reviews, which has earned her the rank of professor at her library at Bowling Green State University in Ohio. She recently earned her doctorate in educational leadership and policy studies. The title of her dissertation is “A Quantitative Study of Academic Library Administrators Using Bolman and Deal’s Leadership Orientation Framework.” Catherine Cardwell, coeditor of this monograph, also served on her dissertation committee.

Catherine Cardwell is the Dean of the Nelson Poynter Memorial Library and the Regional Associate Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs at the University of South Florida Saint Petersburg. She provides leadership for the library, online learning, instructional technology services, and the Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning. A librarian for twenty-four years, Cardwell has served in various leadership positions for twenty-one of those years, from library instruction coordinator to library dean. Because she has worked in several different types of institutions—including Bowling Green State University, a public doctoral university with high research activity; Ohio Wesleyan University, a small private university; and USFSP, a regional comprehensive university—she has a broad understanding of the challenges and opportunities in a variety of academic library settings. Most recently, Cardwell led the library strategic planning effort at USFSP and is currently overseeing its implementation.



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 May 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 (