New from ACRL - “Developing the Next Generation of Library Leaders”

For Immediate Release
Tue, 01/28/2020


Erin Nevius

Content Strategist


CHICAGO – The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) announces the publication of “Developing the Next Generation of Library Leaders” by Lori Birrell, book number 75 in ACRL’s Publications in Librarianship series. Through the leadership development stories of current assistant/associate deans, this book extrapolates ways the library profession can systematically cultivate leadership skill development in new leaders and help prepare them for the challenges of the changing academic library. 

The leadership and management skills and competencies needed to lead an academic library are not always limited to domain-based expertise developed in graduate school and honed over careers. Librarians in administrative positions, both within the organization and the greater university leadership structure, need to be entrepreneurial in their approach to leadership and become systems thinkers: consider the overarching structures in which they operate, identify collaborative opportunities to strengthen their organizations, and creatively lead bold change in order to keep their organizations relevant.

"Developing the Next Generation of Library Leaders" examines how the library profession can foster this skill development for new leaders through the leadership stories and development of twenty-two assistant/associate deans. Ten big ideas emerged through this research:  

  • Developing a career ladder
  • Mitigating identity crisis
  • Learning theory, applying to practice
  • Support
  • Find your people
  • Leadership pause points
  • Alternative leadership and management models
  • Demystifying leadership and management
  • Succession planning
  • Battling gender-based doubts

Each of these ideas include questions as well as recommendations that, when taken together, offer a holistic approach to shrinking the leadership gap in our profession and preparing the next generation of library leaders to move the profession forward and meet the evolving challenges of higher education.

“Developing the Next Generation of Library Leaders” is available for purchase in print and as an ebook through the ALA Online Store; in print through; and by telephone order at (866) 746-7252 in the U.S. or (770) 442-8633 for international customers.


The Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) is the higher education association for academic libraries and library workers. Representing more than 10,000 individuals and libraries, ACRL (a division of the American Library Association) develops programs, products, and services to help those working in academic and research libraries learn, innovate, and lead within the academic community. Founded in 1940, ACRL is committed to advancing learning, transforming scholarship, and creating diverse and inclusive communities. Find ACRL on the webFacebookTwitterInstagram, and YouTube.