Annotated Bibliography of Resources on Leadership

Introduction Leadership and Vision | Leadership Traits | Annotated Bibliography | Survey Responses | Self-Assessment

This page contains an annotated bibliography of books and articles, as well as a list of additional resources.


Albritton, Rosie L., and Thomas W. Shaughnessy. Developing Leadership Skills: A Sourcebook for Librarians. Englewood, Colo.: Libraries Unlimited, 1990.

Developed as a self-instructional tool for an internship program at the University of Missouri-Columbia ( UMC) Libraries, this sourcebook contains readings, instruments, and exercises designed to help individuals improve their leadership potential and skills in the library profession. Intended for librarians at all levels of the organization, it contains articles and excerpts from a variety of disciplines, and is based on the idea that effective leadership depends on understanding of one’s strengths, weaknesses, abilities, and motivations. Part one, “Leadership and Organizations” defines leadership and focuses on theoretical implications of various leadership models and how they may be applied to library management. Part two, “Self Awareness”, focuses on how leaders may examine their self-concept and understand themselves as leaders. Part three, “Self-Development”, focuses on managerial aspects of leadership, such as improving communication skills, time management, stress management, goal-setting, problem-solving, listening, and ethics. Part 4, “Professional Growth and Development”, looks at career planning and development at different life stages, mentoring relationships, well-being, and motivation, as well as working with groups. Part four contains ten self-assessment instruments that allow readers to measure their own progress toward becoming effective leaders.

Bellman, Geoffrey M. Getting Things Done When You Are Not in Charge. 2d ed. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler, 2001.

This book provides guidance for initiating and leading changes in the organization, regardless of one’s formal position. Written for people in all types of settings, this book is especially relevant to professionals and support workers who are not in positions of authority, but who want to make a difference in their workplace. Bellman presents his “Getting Things Done” model and gives practical advice in the following chapters: “Pursuing your aspirations”; “Discovering dreams”; “What is really happening?”; “Build common understanding”; “Face the politics”; “Seek the priorities”; “Who makes a difference?”; “Enlisting able partners”; “Controlling work dynamics”; “Dealing with decision makers”; “How might you help?”; “Find the courage to risk”; “Making your work rewarding”; “Create change”; and “Actions that get things done”.

Bennis, Warren. On Becoming a Leader. Rev. ed. Cambridge, Mass.: Perseus, 2003.

In this revised edition of his 1989 classic, Warren Bennis discusses the qualities that define leadership, the people who embody them, and the strategies to become a leader. Using many scenarios of real-life leaders, he demonstrates how leaders must master their context instead of being overpowered by it, possess the basic attributes of leadership (a guiding vision, passion, integrity, trust, curiosity, and daring), possess knowledge of themselves and the world around them, and operate on instinct. He also lists steps that individuals can take to become more effective leaders, discusses the importance of taking risks, and how to gain the support of followers. Ways in which organizations can encourage or hinder leadership are also discussed.

Bennis, Warren, and Burt Nanis. Leaders: Strategies for Taking Charge. New York: Harper & Row, 1985.

In this book, Bennis and Nanis identify four leadership competencies or “themes” exhibited by 90 leaders in the business world that they interviewed: attention through vision, meaning through communication, trust through positioning, and the deployment of oneself through positive self-regard. The following chapters explore how these themes can be applied to entire organizations (e.g., how an organization creates a vision, how one can create a social architecture that can enable it to reach its vision, etc.).

Bennis, Warren, and Joan Goldsmith. Learning to Lead: A Workbook on Becoming a Leader. 3d ed. Cambridge, Mass.: Perseus, 2003.

In this book, Warren Bennis and Joan Goldsmith present their model of leadership and guide the reader through a series of activities and exercises designed to help them become more effective leaders. These activities involve self-reflection upon one’s personal experiences, qualities, and attitudes, and while some activities are designed to be performed with a group, they may also be performed alone. In the first chapter, readers may take a “Leadership Inventory” to see whether they identify more with leaders or managers, and list behaviors they wish to change. The following chapters help readers identify their values and goals and personal qualities, examine role models and events in their lives that influenced them as leaders, increase their self-knowledge, develop and communicate a vision, build trust and integrity, and assess themselves on major leadership competencies. This book also contains an extensive annotated bibliography.

Caroselli, Marlene. Leadership Skills for Managers. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2000.

This book examines the characteristics and abilities that differentiate leaders from managers. Readers may use it to develop a plan to improve their abilities and assess themselves on different characteristics using questions and checklists throughout the book. Various leadership roles are described, including being a visionary, problem-solver, team-builder, manager, communicator, power distributor, liaison (forming partnerships and strategic alliances), and planner. Skills and traits needed to be an effective leader are also discussed, such as courage to handle objections and criticism, the ability to instill pride in one’s followers, sincerity (showing concern for others, the “personal touch”), adaptability to face opposing ideas and viewpoints, the ability to use influence and not solely rely on one’s authority to accomplish things, and the ability to communicate with various specialists in one’s organization.

Chapman, Elwood N. Leadership: What Every Manager Needs to Know. Chicago: SRA Pergamon, 1989.

Based on 60 interviews with a variety of recognized leaders, lecturer and business training specialist Elwood Chapman offers his model of leadership (“The leadership formula”), which contains six fundamentals that can be applied regardless of one’s position. Readers may also evaluate their own leadership skills and identify areas for improvement using the various exercises, tests, and assessment forms throughout the book. In the first chapter, Chapman distinguishes leadership from management. In the following chapters, he describes characteristics of successful leaders, presents his “strategic model for leadership training”, gives advice on how to be a “star communicator”, and how to convert employees into followers, set up an effective reward system, use power effectively, improve one’s decision-making, become a visionary, make effective use of a communication network, and create a positive force in one’s work environment. Other special features of this book include a “Leadership Effectiveness Scale”, where readers may assess their own leadership competencies, and two case studies per chapter where readers may compare their responses with the author’s comments at the back of the book.

Cihak, Helene, and Joan S. Howland. Leadership Roles for Librarians. Buffalo, N.Y.: William S. Hein & Co., 2002.

This book identifies and analyzes different leadership roles for librarians. Each chapter, written by a different author, is devoted to a specific role and may serve as a resource for librarians to turn to when encountering a certain situation. While written by law librarians, this book is applicable to librarians in all kinds of institutions. The leadership roles include: the leader as leader, the leader as builder (practical advice on all stages of planning a new library building), leader as champion (using diversity as an example of how librarians can advocate causes and initiate changes, and includes steps for developing and implementing a diversity plan), leader as coach (how leaders can inspire and motivate employees to improve their productivity using formal and informal coaching techniques), leader as innovator, leader as liberator (how to create an environment where staff perceive it as a positive place to work and feel that they make a meaningful contribution), leader as manager, leader as marketer (how to increase use of the library and its stature in its parent organization, focusing on marketing techniques), leader as mediator (how to deal with conflict among employees with use of a case study), leader as mentor, leader as teacher, leader as transformer (how one can help bring about change in one’s library), leader as visionary (using the adoption of new technology as an example), and leader as achiever.

DePree, Max. Leadership is an Art. East Lansing, Mich.: Michigan State University Press, 1987.

This book contains the author’s ideas and beliefs about leadership, based on his experience as CEO of Herman Miller, Inc., an office furniture manufacturing company. He stresses the importance of recognizing and utilizing the diversity of skills and talents within one’s organization and viewing employees as human beings. He favors “participative management”, where employees at different levels are involved in the decision-making process and people who are outside of the established hierarchy of leadership are encouraged to take charge of problem situations. DePree emphasizes the importance of recognizing people with leadership potential at all levels of the organizational hierarchy and giving them opportunities to lead. He also stresses the importance of making work life meaningful for employees and helping them reach their potential in order to result in increased effectiveness and productivity. He also discusses the importance of communicating the organization’s values and ensuring everyone shares them. Real-life stories from his plant, Herman Miller, Inc., and examples of exceptional leaders he has known are presented throughout the book.

Evans, G. Edward, Patricia Layzell Ward, and Bendik Rugaas. “Leadership.” Chapter 13 in Management Basics for Information Professionals. New York: Neal-Schumann, 2000.

This chapter examines the concept of leadership and its application in the library setting, its assumptions and functions, and how to learn leadership styles. To learn to become leaders, the authors state that it is important to understand the task at hand, have the desire to become a leader, and have a vision. They believe that leadership traits are teachable, including job competence, ability to plan and organize, willingness to accept responsibilities, self-confidence, self-discipline, ability to communicate and listen, patience, a strong desire to achieve the goals and objectives of the library, and a genuine interest in the welfare of subordinates and peers. They describe the “acknowledge-create-empower” paradigm that lets managers coach their staff to empower them and foster creativity. In addition, the authors describe an organizational structure for employee-centered leadership that is flexible and open to change, and they discuss methods of giving orders and interacting with staff that foster a climate of cooperation.

Gordon, Thomas. Leader Effectiveness Training, L.E.T.: The No-Lose Way to Release the Productive Potential of People. New York: Wyden Books, 1977.

Based on the author’s work with managers in his Effectiveness Training classes, this book contains practical advice and examples concerning skills and methods that people must learn to be effective leaders, based on the author’s model. These skills include helping followers solve their problems, improving one’s listening skills, communicating to followers to get things done and evaluate them without hurting them, making teams effective by selecting the right people, running different kinds of meetings to make them more productive and enjoyable, dealing with conflict and turning conflict into cooperation, and making one’s influence known with superiors.

Harrell, Keith. The Attitude of Leadership: Taking the Lead and Keeping It. Hoboken, N.J.: John Wiley & Sons, 2003.

This book profiles twenty-one successful business leaders from different industries who demonstrate principles of Harrell’s “attitude of leadership”, so that readers may learn from them and emulate their success. Each chapter is devoted to telling the story of how an individual leader became successful, as well as the person’s style and views on leadership. Following each profile is a section called “Keith’s Attitude Check”, where the author discusses the positive characteristics and behaviors that can be learned from the individual leader, offers advice, and poses questions in order to let readers assess themselves. An “Attitude action plan” is also included at the end of each chapter, which lists questions readers may use to examine themselves in order to become more effective leaders and improve their relations with employees (e.g., “Are you working in an industry or capacity that inspires you?”, “Do you keep your employees informed of the company and department status?”).

Harvard Business Review on What Makes a Leader. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard Business School Press, 2001.

This is a collection of articles on the subject of leadership that previously appeared in the Harvard Business Review. It includes articles discussing the qualities of successful leaders (“What Makes a Leader?”) pitfalls and traps to be avoided for high-profile leaders that have gained recognition (“Narcissistic Leaders”), six leadership styles identified by psychologist Daniel Goleman (“Leadership that Gets Results”), ways to maintain the attention of employees (“Getting the Attention You Need”), and how to cope with leadership transitions (“The Successor’s Dilemma”). A case study of a real-life failed company (J. Peterman Company) is also offered, along with an interview with Novell’s Eric Schmidt.

Gertzog, Alice, ed. Leadership in the Library/Information Profession. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland, 1989.

This is a collection of papers presented at a 1988 symposium at the Rutgers School of Communication, Information, and Library Studies. The first paper discusses the results of two surveys of the types of leaders in different libraries and their qualities. The following essays cover ways library schools can nurture leaders, the need for women and minorities to establish themselves as leaders in the library profession, and the controversy surrounding the definition of leadership. There is also a panel discussion concerning ways to develop the next generation of library leaders and the problem of identifying them, and an annotated bibliography.

Kouzes, James M., and Barry Z. Posne. The Leadership Challenge. 3d ed. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2002.

This book attempts to help people in all positions and types of organizations to accomplish important things and in the process, become leaders. Based on the authors’ research on managers and people in non-managerial positions, it describes leadership practices and fundamental principles, provides real-life case examples of leaders, and offers guidance on how readers may emulate them to improve their own leadership skills. In the first chapter, the authors describe the five fundamental practices of exemplary leadership and the “ten commitments of leadership” or behaviors. In the second chapter, the authors describe the characteristics people they surveyed most admire about leaders. Following this, each pair of chapters focuses on one of the five fundamental principles of exemplary leadership: “Model the way”; “Inspire a shared vision”; “Challenge the process”; “Enable others to act”; and “Encourage the heart”. Each chapter focuses on one of the ten commitments.

Mech, Terence F., and Gerard B. McCabe, eds. Leadership and Academic Librarians. Greenwood Library Management Collection. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1998.

This is a collection of essays on the subject of leadership in academic librarians by various authors. In the first section, the history of the academic librarian in relation to American higher education is explored. In the second section, the role of the library director as a leader on university campuses is discussed, as well as the characteristics of effective leadership. In the third section, the ways that individual librarians can exercise a leadership role within academic libraries is discussed. In the fourth section, issues related to the advancement and career paths of academic librarians are explored. In the fifth section, leadership roles at the highest levels are discussed, including college president, chief information officer, dean, and roles in other academic settings. At the end, a bibliographic essay is presented on the characteristics of leaders, learning to lead, value systems, and leadership styles.

Murphy, Emmett C. Leadership IQ: A Personal Development Process Based on a Scientific Study of a New Generation of Leaders. New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1996.

This book is designed to help readers improve themselves as leaders by identifying the characteristics and talents of outstanding leaders. In Murphy’s view, leadership is a form of intelligence. Based on research at his consulting firm (E.C. Murphy, Ltd.) of leaders at various business, healthcare, government, and public service organizations in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and Asia, he has identified leaders with high “Leadership IQ” or “workleaders”, that have mastered 8 critical roles: selecting the right people, connecting them to the right cause, solving problems that arise, evaluating progress toward objectives, negotiating resolutions to conflicts, healing the wounds inflicted by change, protecting their cultures from perils of crisis, and synergizing all stakeholders in a way that enables them to achieve together. Each chapter illustrates a single role with various scripts and scenarios and shows how it is guided by 7 principles: 1) Be an achiever; 2) Be pragmatic; 3) Practice strategic humility; 4) Be customer-focused; 5) Be committed; 6) Learn to be an optimist; 7) Accept responsibility. This book also contains the “Leadership IQ Self-Assessment (LIQ)” in the appendix, which measures one’s understanding of the key competencies required for a high Leadership IQ.

Pearce, Terry. Leading Out Loud: Inspiring Change Through Authentic Communication. Rev. ed. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2003.

This book focuses on methods of giving a speech that inspires others to support a cause or embrace change. Part one examines the changing context of leadership, discovering one’s vision and values through personal self-reflection, developing one’s voice by taking a stand on an issue and disciplining one’s voice for clarity by writing, and developing one’s communication style while managing one’s emotions. Part two covers techniques for effective speaking (e.g., use of metaphors and images to make messages meaningful and memorable) and other important elements of a speech (e.g., establishing credibility for a cause and building trust, creating a shared context, declaring and describing the future, concluding one’s message with a commitment to act, and responding authentically to questions from the audience).

Riggs, Donald E., and Gordon A. Sabine. “Leadership.” Chapter 10 in Libraries in the ‘90s: What the Leaders Expect. Phoenix, Ariz.: Oryx Press, 1988.

This chapter features interviews with various recognized library leaders consisting of past ALA presidents, deans of library schools, library directors, and heads of divisions within libraries. Although the interviews were conducted in 1988, many of the leaders’ responses are still relevant today. Individual comments by different interviewees are listed in response to the following questions: “What made you a leader?”; "What leadership techniques do you find best work for you?”; “How does a newcomer in the library field best learn how to become a leader?”; “How can library associations encourage more leadership development?”; and, “Why is the field so late to concentrate on leadership?” The library leaders offer many characteristics and strategies that helped them become leaders and offer insight into important leadership skills, such as delegating tasks to others and allowing them to take risks, establishing credibility and trust among colleagues, listening and building consensus, being able to communicate clearly, and possessing inner strength. For new librarians, they offer advice on becoming leaders and suggest becoming involved in professional organizations and choosing an innovative library with good role models for one’s first job.

Sheldon, Brooke E. Leaders in Libraries: Styles and Strategies for Success. Chicago: American Library Association, 1991.

This book presents the results of interviews with recognized leaders in the library profession, including deans of library schools, directors of major academic and public libraries, executive directors of major library organizations, and state librarians. Each chapter is devoted to a different theme that emerged during the interviews, including how leaders possess secure commitment to their visions, use communication to achieve results, establish trust, exhibit self-confidence by building on strengths and compensating for weaknesses, and how they benefited from mentors and role models (usually early in their careers). Comments from different librarians offer helpful insights on the process of becoming a leader, as they recount qualities, skills, and events that helped them. In the final chapter, ideas for developing future library leaders and the role of library schools are discussed.

Winston, Mark D., ed. Leadership in the Library and Information Science Professions: Theory and Practice. New York: Haworth Press, 2001.

This collection of articles about leadership in libraries aims to “provide thoughtful and well-documented analyses in consideration of this important area and to help further a discussion that will better define the issues and inform practice in a substantial way” (p.3). The authors consist of library and information science professors, university administrators, management consultants, an administrator at an information technology firm, and a reference librarian. Articles are included that address the theory of leadership, the concept of leadership, ways of leading in times of technological change, methods of recruiting and developing new leaders in the library profession, how to evaluate leaders, how to become financial leaders, and leadership issues from a multicultural perspective. The chapter by Donald Riggs may be particularly useful to new librarians wanting to become leaders, as he distinguishes leadership from management, and describes various qualities of effective leaders.


Berry, John N. “Arizona’s New Model.” Library Journal 127, no. 18 (1 Nov. 2002): 40-42. “Constant, unrelenting pressure to cut costs coupled with new demands that the university be accountable to measured outcomes of its education programs have brought radical change to both the university and its libraries.” According to Dean of University of Arizona library at Tucson, Carla Stoffle, “We simply cannot afford to keep doing things the same old way.” Since 1993, creation of a new management replaced the old hierarchy structures with a productive, empowering team organization. The “flat” organization is organized into ten teams. “Creating a flexible, non-hierarchic organization to move fast and respond well under pressure was an incredible feat of management.” “In 1993 we decided that we were going to focus on people, not things. We were going to focus on our customers. The needs of our customers constantly change. We wanted to be able to serve them as their needs and the environment changed.” Hernon, Peter, Ronald R. Powell, and Arthur P. Young. “University Library Directors in the Association of Research Libraries: The Next Generation, Part One.” College & Research Libraries 62, no. 2 (March 2001): 166-145. “Present-day directors must possess a wide variety of attributes and are less likely to remain in the same position for as many years as their predecessors did. With the aging population of academic librarians, matching the right individual with the right institution is likely to be increasingly difficult in the future.” Authors have characterized the directorship as a “position in transition” because directors move from being internal managers to being institutional leaders who exhibit “creativity, risk taking, innovation, and intuition.” Dana C. Rooks found that the director must display “three major qualities”: flexibility, adaptability, and willingness to accept change as a way of life; a stable and equitable temperament and the ability to maintain an emotional balance under constant tensions; and endurance. Peter Hernon and Carolynne Presser identified fifteen characteristics that a new director must possess. A new director must have a vision and be able to work with others to achieve it; be a leader who is able to motivate staff; be knowledgeable about scholarly communication and appreciate the role and value of scholarship; have demonstrated experience in planning with key stakeholders and setting realistic priorities; have good communication skills and be able to work effectively within the library system, the university, and the larger community; be an advocate of the library; be knowledgeable about technological applications in libraries, issues and trends in higher education, and the movement toward multidisciplinarity; be knowledgeable about, and have experience with, human resources management; be committed to resource sharing and express a willingness to explore opportunities for partnerships and to work cooperatively with other libraries; be supportive of staff development; be able to put together a management team and a management structure for the library; be able to empower the management team and delegate responsibility, where appropriate; be a team player; be open-minded and approachable, and embrace change; have a public service focus, meaning that services to the community will be the driving force behind the decisions taken; and recognize that external funding is important and be willing to work with the university’s development office in fund-raising. Four directors stressed the importance of partnerships and consortia. In the consortia environment, the digital environment, and fiscal environment, new opportunities involve the director more and more. He or she must have associated skills that involve the library with other libraries and with other organizations. The person must have good values and ethics and be consistent in decision making and the way he or she treats people. One must keep commitments, be even-handed, be a quick decision maker, and be willing to explain his or her decision. The person must be readily accessible to staff, users, and anyone else who thinks he or she needs to see you. Matthews, Catherine J. “Becoming a Chief Librarian: An Analysis of Transition Stages in Academic Library Leadership.” Library Trends 50, no. 4 (Spring 2002): 578-604. The new chief librarian, like others assuming new jobs, must “build an image or role, build relationships, construct a frame of reference, map relevant players, locate themselves in communication networks, and learn the local language” among many other things. This article explores how the four-part model of transition cycles identified by Nicholson and West applies to becoming a chief librarian of an academic library. The four stages, preparation, encounter, adjustment, and stabilization, are considered from the micro-, mezzo-, and macro levels of the organization, as well as for their psychological and social impact on the new job incumbent. An instrument for assessment of transitional success which could be administered in the adjustment or stabilization stage is considered. “The report card gives the chief librarian an opportunity to identify those areas in which he or she is presumed to be performing and for which they seek feedback. Thus, it serves as a means of reinforcing staff the understanding of what a chief librarian ought to be achieving and sets the stage for new levels of preparation, encounter, and adjustment.” “Employing a report card assessment after six months or one year gives the chief librarian an opportunity to act on certain matters before problems are solidified.” “Leadership of tomorrow’s academic libraries is not for the faint of heart, but for the professional dedicated to the opportunities of learning organizations. Step back and assess your preparation and be thoughtful about the stages of transition. Recognize too that the stages of transition exist at the micro-, mezzo-, and macro levels of any organization and that, while they may echo the stages of incumbent experiences, the length of those stages may vary at the different levels of the organization. Organizational effectiveness may depend upon the capacity of individuals and organizations to manage all phases of transition effectively, by developing appropriate recruiting and orientation processes for the necessary transfer of institutional knowledge and cultural values.”

McClamroch, Jo, Jacqueline J. Byrd, and Steven L. Sowell. “Strategic Planning: Politics, Leadership, and Learning.” The Journal of Academic Librarianship 27, no. 5 (September 2001): 372-378.

“Challenged by shrinking budgets, dramatic changes in higher education, and growing user demand for resources and services, academic libraries must confront the realities of a new time, focus their energies, and allocate their limited resources strategically. Once its mission, vision, and values have been articulated, strategic planning is a natural and necessary activity for an organization to pursue.” At Indiana University Bloomington Libraries the strategic planning model of John Bryson was applied. Leadership was the role of the Strategic Planning Steering Committee ( SPSC). The committee members were the gatherers and disseminators of relevant information so that others could make informed decisions. They were the educators of all internal stakeholders as they introduced new ways to think about strategic planning. The committee members were the promoters of new ideas and the mediators of conflict those ideas sometimes engendered, the role models for a paradigm that actively sought and considered all viewpoints and the champions of affording sufficient time to the process to reach consensus. The two co-chairs played a central leadership role within the SPSC. They shared a passionate commitment to the process and modeled that commitment to others. They capably facilitated each meeting and keep them on task. The co-chairs continuously sought the active participation of each member of the steering committee. They motivated the members through weeks of two-hour long meetings, always followed by “homework!” They served as liaisons to the Libraries’ dean and to the LMT and mediated any confusion that arose. Everyone committed to meeting deadlines and found methods to be flexible, tolerant, and understanding of each other’s obligations. “From the outset, the work of the SPSC was built on a foundation of guidelines, ground rules, processes, procedures, and projected outcomes.”

Additional Resources

Beckhard, Richard, and Wendy Pritchard. Changing the Essence: The Art of Creating and Leading Fundamental Change in Organizations. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1992.

Crosby, Philip B. Running Things: The Art of Making Things Happen. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1986.

Gardner, John W. On Leadership. New York: The Free Press, 1990.

Moran, Barbara B. Libraries and Librarians: Meeting the Leadership Challenges of the 21 st Century. Champaign, Ill.: University of Illinois, Graduate School of Library and Information Science, 1992.

Peters, Tom, and Nancy Austin. A Passion for Excellence: The Leadership Difference. New York: Random House, 1985.