RESOURCE: Collaboration, Empathy & Change: Perspectives on Leadership in Libraries and Archives in 2020

Trevor Owens (Library of Congress) and Angelina Wong (University of Maryland) have shared a preprint of Collaboration, Empathy & Change: Perspectives on Leadership in Libraries and Archives in 2020 on SocArXiv.

From the book introduction, Owens describes the impetus and process behind the book:

…the students in the organizational theory and leadership course I taught at the University of Maryland’s iSchool worked together to produce this book. Every student in the University of Maryland’s iSchool MLIS program is required to take Achieving Organizational Excellence, a course focused on “the principles, practices, and techniques required for effective leadership and management.” I’m really proud of the work that we did together over the semester. This book distills, documents, and communicates much of what we have learned together… Each chapter of this book was written for the course in the Fall of 2020. With some support from me, each student connected with an individual working in a leadership role in an information organization relevant to their career interests. Each student interviewed their subject to learn about that person’s approach to leadership and organizations. Students then drew from those interviews to develop essays connecting their subject’s perspectives to literature on organizational theory and leadership. Inclusion of essays in this book was optional. Some students preferred not to publish their work here. Some interview subjects preferred that their perspectives not be widely shared. As a result, the scope of this book is intentionally non-comprehensive. This is not a survey of various areas and roles in the field. Instead, the book brings together voices and perspectives anchored in these particular students. The book is itself part of the pedagogical approach of the course. It’s one thing to read about leadership and organizational theory. It’s another to see how ideas from books and journal articles connect to the real-world experiences of leaders in the field. It’s still a whole other level of learning to synthesize perspectives from leaders in the field with the literature and publish it. Library and archives practitioners working in the field wrote most of our course readings. A key part of joining that professional community of practice is developing the ability to contribute to the professional dialog in our scholarship and writing.

For dh+lib readers, this volume can serve not only as an exploration into library leadership in 2020, but also as an example of pedagogical innovation in library and information science education.

dh+lib Review

This post was produced through a cooperation between Brooke A Becker, Claudia Berger, Jennifer McGillan, Robin Miller, Ingrid Reiche, Deborah Revzin, Amy Rupert, Mark Szarko, Joanna Thompson, Valentina Vavassori, (Editors-at-large for the week), Caitlin Christian-Lamb (Editor for the week), and Alasdair Ekpenyong, Nickoal Eichmann-Kalwara, Linsey Ford, and Pamella Lach (dh+lib Review Editors).