Read To Lead | 17 Books You Need

These titles will give new library leaders context and help experienced ones keep things fresh

These Titles Will Give New Library Leaders Context and Help Experienced Ones Keep Things Fresh

Library Focused

Evans, G. Edward & Holland Christie. Managerial Leadership for Librarians: Thriving in the Public and Nonprofit World. Libraries Unlimited. 2017. 379p. index. ISBN 9781440841705. pap. $65; ebk. ISBN 9781440841712.

This title is aimed at librarians with some managerial experience and knowledge/understanding of foundational concepts. Though some chapters cover familiar ground, the authors quickly move the discussions beyond the basics. They also focus on adapting management concepts and theory specifically for the public and nonprofit sectors and combining the development of advanced management skills with those of dynamic leadership. (LJ 4/1/18)

The LITA Leadership Guide: The Librarian as Entrepreneur, Leader, and Technologist. Rowman & Littlefield. 2017. 152p. ed. by Carl Antonucci & Sharon Clapp. illus. index. ISBN 9781442279018. $75; pap. ISBN 9781442279025. $37.

The authors encourage librarians who aspire to leadership roles to embrace the ever-changing technology and space needs of their patrons and to adopt an entrepreneurial spirit in both areas. They examine the effect these changes have had on the mission and operations of libraries and how leaders willing to take risks can help ensure that libraries continue to be relevant to the communities they serve. (LJ 10/15/17)

The Many Faces of School Library Leadership. 2d ed. Libraries Unlimited. 2017. 184p. ed. by Sharon Coatney & Violet H. Harada. index. ISBN 9781440848971. pap. $50; ebk. ISBN 9781440848988.

Though this work is aimed at K–12 librarians, the advice is easily adaptable to all types of librarianship. The K–12 focus offers some interesting angles that do not typically show up in other titles, such as literacy and curriculum leadership and advocacy leadership.

Related Organizations

Garrett, Charles E. Guiding Principles for Commonsense Leadership: A Little Black Book for Educational Leaders. Dog Ear. 2017. 91p. ISBN 9781457559105. pap. $14.95.

Targeting a specific population (principals and administrators), this book is nonetheless applicable to aspiring leaders in any setting. The author covers a wide range of topics with emphasis on common sense, collaboration, and avoiding common pitfalls such as poor listening.

Inclusive Leadership in Higher Education: International Perspectives and Approaches. Routledge. Jan. 2018. 215p. ed. by Lorraine Stefani & Patrick Blessinger. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781138201446. pap. $46.95; ebk. ISBN 9781315466095.

As its title implies, this volume showcases leadership practices that promote inclusion across all groups in higher education organizations. Content includes case studies from Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Europe, and the UK, as well as topical chapters focused on particular challenges and opportunities faced by leaders in this environment.

Transformational Leadership and Not for Profits and Social Enterprises. Routledge. (Studies in the Management of Voluntary & Non-Profit Organizations). Mar. 2018. 232p. ed. by Ken Wiltshire & others. index. ISBN 9781138204829. $150; ebk. ISBN 9781315468570.

Much like libraries, the role of not-for-profit organizations has become more complex and with this comes a need for innovative leadership. The essays in this title draw on real-world experiences from the not-for-profit world to help aspiring leaders support their teams and client communities and situate their organizations to succeed in an increasingly challenging milieu.

General Leadership

Fabritius, Friederike & Hans W. Hagemann. The Leading Brain: Powerful Science-Based Strategies for Achieving Peak Performance. TarcherPerigee: Putnam. 2017. 272p. illus. notes. index. ISBN 9780143129356. $26; ebk. ISBN 9781101993200.

Part leadership theory and part strategy for training your brain, this work is designed both for individual development and as a resource for creating higher functioning teams. The first two sections focus on individual development and the third expands the individual strategies to a team setting, including advice for hiring and training.

Grieser, Randy. The Ordinary Leader: 10 Key Insights for Building and Leading a Thriving Organization. Achieve. 2017. 216p. illus. bibliog. ISBN 9781988617008. $21; ebk. ISBN 9781988617015.

Not all great leaders head up governments, large corporations, or notable organizations. Grieser maintains that “ordinary” leaders can come from any part of any size organization, and, if they pay attention to ten key areas, they can be influential in the success of their organization. The author adds survey responses from 1,700 professionals to his own experience, as well as examples for translating ideas into action.

Hougaard, Rasmus & Jacqueline Carter. The Mind of the Leader: How To Lead Yourself, Your People, and Your Organization for Extraordinary Results. Harvard Business Review. Mar. 2018. 328p. illus. notes. index. ISBN 9781633693425. $30; ebk. ISBN 9781633693432.

An important part of leading is having a vision and bringing it to fruition but not at the expense of the people you lead. The authors contend that truly successful leaders must exhibit mindfulness, selflessness, and compassion. They offer success stories from such corporate giants as Marriott, Accenture, McKinsey & Co., and LinkedIn to underscore their theory.

Kottler, Jeffrey A. What You Don’t Know About Leadership, but Probably Should: Applications to Daily Life. Oxford Univ.Mar. 2018. 344p. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780190620820. $27.95; ebk. ISBN 9780190620837.

The emphasis here is boiling down leadership theory into practical strategies that can be used across a multitude of professional situations. Kottler calls out particular attributes (flexibility, humility, self-confidence) that are marks of a successful leader, and dangerous pitfalls (narcissism, hubris) that can cause a leader to fail.

Meyer, Ron. Leadership Agility: Developing Your Repertoire of Leadership Styles. Routledge. Jan. 2018. 264p. illus. index. ISBN 9781138065109. pap. $35; ebk. ISBN 9781315159980.

Just as there are styles of learning, there are also styles of leading. This title details ten leadership techniques, suggesting in which contexts, settings, and roles each might be particularly effective and for which they may not be suited. The author explains why it is advantageous for leaders to learn how and when to switch among various methods.

Northouse, Peter G. Introduction to Leadership: Concepts and Practice. 4th ed. SAGE. Jan. 2018. 335p. illus. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781506330082. pap. $67.

Currently in its fourth edition, this title provides an overview of leadership concepts and strategies. Each chapter contains a self-assessment questionnaire, exercises, and worksheets for practice and introspection. This new edition adds a chapter on diversity and inclusion and an ethical leadership style survey.

Spodek, Joshua. Leadership Step by Step: Become the Person Others Follow. AMACOM. 2017. 246p. index. ISBN 9780814437933. $24; ebk. ISBN 9780814437940.

This leadership workbook provides 22 exercises designed to help the reader build the skills and abilities that successful leaders possess. Each chapter encompasses one exercise, progressing from an inward-facing self-development focus to more advanced practice that budding leaders can work through in their own professional setting.

Tjan, Anthony. Good People: The Only Leadership Decision That Really Matters. Portfolio. 2017. 304p. illus. notes. index. ISBN 9780399562150. $28; ebk. ISBN 9780399562174.

As with the previous title, Good People contends that successful leaders should exhibit compassion and integrity. The author defines these and other “good” qualities and provides excerpts from interviews with leaders who embody them. Additionally, he stresses the importance of hiring with an eye toward applicants who exhibit these qualities instead of simply judging them by the record of accomplishments listed in their résumés. (LJ 4/1/17)


Bailey, Cathy Quartner. Show Up as Your Best Self: Mindful Leaders, Meditation, & More. CreateSpace: Amazon. 2017. 186p. ISBN 9781523787197. pap. $12.95.

Taking on the responsibilities that come with being a leader can be stressful. Bailey explains how adopting mindfulness practices such as quiet reflection and meditation not only can help relieve stress but also enable leaders to manage uncertainty better, solve problems, and engage more deeply in active listening and other habits that will maintain crucial connections throughout their organizations.

Kahnweiler, Jennifer B. The Introverted Leader: Building on Your Quiet Strength. Berrett-Koehler. Mar. 2018. 188p. illus. notes. index. ISBN 9781523094332. pap. $20.95; ebk. ISBN 9781523094318.

It may seem like all successful leaders must be extroverts, but Kahnweiler makes the case that many introvert qualities are well suited for that position. She discusses how introverts can benefit from their natural tendency toward observation, listening over talking, and careful word choice and lays out a four-step strategy they can use to build on these and other qualities that will help them become successful leaders.

Quayle, Moura. Designed Leadership. Columbia Univ. 2017. 226p. illus. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780231173124. pap. $35; ebk. ISBN 9780231544689.

This title lays out strategies for incorporating design thinking into leadership. Quayle explains how design thinking is an important addition to the leader’s toolkit because it inspires innovation and creativity. She explains the ten principles and methods of designed leadership, offers advice on how to practice them, and provides case studies that showcase their effectiveness.

Sara Holder is Associate Professor and Head of Research and Information Services at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She has authored journal articles on subjects including librarian training and development and academic library management. She is active in ALA, ACRL, and LLAMA and is a frequent reviewer for LJ (she is the 2018 Video Reviewer of the Year)

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Another Sara

I am frustrated that, even in our female-dominated profession, the majority of authors listed here are men. The "General Leadership" section is particularly egregious, with eleven named authors: ten of whom seem to have masculine names. Women authors only dominate in the "Special" category, which focus on soft/alternative areas of leadership: meditation, quiet strength, and design thinking.

Posted : Jun 18, 2018 09:28



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