The efforts of ethnic-minority librarians to become leaders in Western libraries are an important topic for any librarian working towards becoming a leader, with issues such as cross-cultural leadership relevant for all aspiring librarians.

Leadership in Libraries covers leadership in various areas, provides examples of successful minority leaders in different fields and statistical data on minorities and librarians in several countries. The title probes library school programs and their efforts to develop leadership skills among librarians in general, and among minority librarians in particular. The book begins by introducing the concept of ethnic-minority leadership, moving on in the first chapter to definitions by culture, profession, and gender. The next three chapters consider managers as leaders, leadership styles, skills, and leadership in school, public and academic libraries in the US, the UK, Canada and Australia. The final chapter includes instances of bad leadership, and offers a conclusion.

Key Features

  • Presents information on learning and developing leadership skills
  • Assesses current and relevant statistical data on minority librarians in Canada, US and UK
  • Explores information on leadership related courses offered in library schools


Practitioners and students of Library and Information Science; Managers, supervisors, directors and deans of higher education institutions

Table of Contents


List of figures and tables

List of abbreviations



About the author


What is ethnic-minority leadership?

Who are visible minorities?

Focus of this book

Diversity in diversity

Minority leadership

Literature on minority leadership in libraries


Chapter 1: Leadership as defined by culture, profession and gender


Leadership and culture

What is culture?

How does culture shape a person?

What is cultural intelligence?

What is social intelligence?

What is emotional intelligence?

Leadership and occupation

Can leadership be taught?

Managers as leaders

Leadership and discrimination

Women and leadership

So what is leadership?

Chapter 2: Managers and leaders


Who are leaders?

Who are managers?

The origin of managers or management

The evolvement of management

Are there differences between managers and leaders?


Libraries and their leaders and managers

Motivating ethnic minorities

Leaders and motivation

What is motivation and how does one motivate others?

Team motivation

Classical theory

Early behavioral theory

Contemporary motivation theories

Chapter 3: Leadership styles


What is leadership style?

Theories of leadership

Styles that work

Factors in leadership style

Do women leaders have a different leadership style?

Chapter 4: Leadership skills


Time management and being organized

Communication skills and cultural differences

Kinds of communication

Electronic communication

Language and communication

Critical thinkin


No. of pages:
© 2012
Chandos Publishing
Print ISBN:
Electronic ISBN:

About the editor

Maha Kumaran

Maha Kumaran is the Saskatchewan Health Information Resources Partnership Librarian at the University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada. Prior to this, she was the Virtual Reference Librarian at Saskatoon Public Library (SPL), and she has also served as the Adult/Young Adult Librarian at SPL. Maha has worked in Canadian libraries for the last 16 years.

Affiliations and Expertise

Partnership Librarian, University of Saskatchewan, Canada


Highly recommended for its contribution to our understanding of an important aspect of the information profession., The Australian Library Journal
While it has clear value to ethnic minority librarians, it deserves a much wider audience from all interested in leadership, library education and ethnic diversity in the workplace., The Australian Library Journal
Leadership in Libraries is both intensely personal and incredibly informative. […] The best and most useful parts of this book were its readability and applicability. […] A copy of this title should be on the shelf of any library — public, academic, or otherwise — that is interested in developing and strengthening the leadership of its people. While Kumaran tells us that the focus of the book is on first-generation, visible minorities, I believe that it will serve not only this population but all people who work in the field of libraries and information sciences. This publication is not only useful, but relevant and a much needed addition to this area of literature., The Canadian Journal of Library and Information Practice and Research