I’m Not Mobile – Can I Still Advance?

Tuesday, 3/29/2016 - Wednesday, 3/30/2016

What are some of the challenges and opportunities of advancing to a higher administrative level in academic libraries? Have you ever wondered if you should make this move? Have you considered what it would take to reach that higher level? How can you be sure you’re on the right path? These questions are daunting enough but some librarians have an added complication – lack of mobility. Can someone move up without moving every few years? Two recently appointed administrators will discuss their move from department head to upper library administration. They will share the lessons learned from the search process and how they handled the inevitable transition issues. The panelists represent two viewpoints: Pixey Mosley made the move as an internal candidate; Paula Sullenger spent many years at one institution before becoming an administrator elsewhere. The panelists will have advice and encouragement for your situation.

Moving up from within: Many librarians may have aspirations for career advancement but do not have the flexibility to easily relocate or desire to move around the country in pursuit of it. Developing as a leader and moving up while staying within an organization offers a particular set of opportunities and challenges. Whether you are seeking leadership opportunities within your current organization or they come knocking on your door, there are things to consider and be intentional about as you grow and develop your leadership and management skillset. Ms. Mosley will offer insights to this aspect of career advancement.

Moving up – it’s now or never: Many librarians have long careers in one institution but with today’s flatter organizational structures, moving up to a desired level from within may not be possible. Contemplating a move to a new environment after an extended time in one institution and leaving behind the familiar can be daunting. Ms. Sullenger will offer insights into starting over completely in a new institution.

Learning Outcomes

  • Gain an understanding of advantages and pitfalls associated with moving up under a variety of circumstances
  • Learn some approaches to initiating steps toward career advancement
  • Develop some response techniques to unexpected leadership development opportunities

Who Should Attend

Anyone interested in the topic.


Pixey Anne Mosley is Associate Dean for Faculty & Administrative Services at Texas A&M University Libraries and a tenured Professor. Prior roles at Texas A&M include Head of Collection Support Services (cataloging & shelving), Head of Access Services, Coordinator of Instructional Services and Reference Librarian. She was the Information Technology Librarian at the University of North Texas. Her prior career was as an aerospace engineer with Boeing and Allied Signal. Active in ALA/LLAMA.

Paula Sullenger is the Associate Dean for Information Resources at Texas A&M University Libraries. She previously served as Serials Cataloger, Serials Acquisitions Librarian, Head, Acquisitions Department, and Head, Electronic Resources and Serials, all at Auburn University.




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