A 360 Degree View: The Ideal Qualities of Library Leaders and Employees


  • Anthony Chow The University of North Carolina at Greensboro
  • Ashley Conte Charlotte Mecklenburg Library




The rapidly changing demands of library customers across different fields of librarianship mirrors that of general society. Are the qualities deemed important for these jobs five or ten years ago still deemed important today? Are these administrators and employees satisfied working in a field that requires such constant change and growth? Our study seeks to address these questions by providing further insight into what qualities library leaders look for in today’s library employees while also providing insight into what qualities library employees look for in today’s library leaders for a 360 degree view. Using a research study crosswalk, interview and survey questions were developed to ensure internal and construct validity and close alignment. The study’s total sample was 289 participants, which included interviews and an online survey completed by public, academic, school, and special libraries in North Carolina and a large public library system in Arizona. The authors found the following: 1) leaders are associated with creating vision, motivating staff, and driving an organization forward, 2) managers are associated with following operational procedures, being task-focused, and being approachable to staff, and 3) excellent library employees show initiative, are self-motivated, are passionate about the work, and demonstrate a willingness to learn new skills.






Peer Reviewed