Libraries at University of Nebraska-Lincoln


Date of this Version

January 2007


Published in Advances in library administration and organization, vol. 24, pp.117–149. Copyright 2007 Elsevier JAI. Used by permission.


Chairs of teaching departments have been accepted as in a position to assist their faculty’s development. Perceptions of the chair’s role from the 29 faculty’s, the chair’s and higher administrators’ viewpoints, and across a variety of institutional settings, have been the subject of research for decades. This research expanded the small amount of similar research that has begun regarding department chairs in academic libraries. The academic library department chairs must act as more than managers and supervisors of personnel. Library faculty, like their teaching department counterparts, should be able to view their chair as interested in the development of their faculty. The department chairs must step up and not leave their faculty to fend for themselves in these important matters. Rather, they should communicate expectations, actively mentor, and take a leadership role to support not only new faculty, but all faculty members in their department, and provide the best opportunity for their institutional success and continued professional growth throughout their careers. Professionals striving to meet the ever-changing information needs of their colleagues across the academic community deserve nothing less.