Growing Library Leaders: A Competency based approach to Leadership Development in Caribbean Academic Libraries.

Your Name and Title:

Jiselle Alleyne- Campus Librarian

Organization Name:

University of the Bahamas

Area of the World from Which You Will Present:

The Bahamas

Language in Which You Will Present:

English

Target Audience(s):

Academic Libraries

Short Session Description (one line):

If Caribbean Academic Libraries are to produce leaders that will enable their respective libraries to remain relevant  a competency based approach to growing leadership from all levels of the organization, is recommended.

Full Session Description (as long as you would like):

Glendenning & Gordon in assessing the issue of Leadership in the Information Professions state, “...there is a growing demand for strategic thinking and planning by library leaders if they are to accurately respond to the transformative environment of the profession and the requirements for leadership...”(Glendenning & Gordon, 1997).The issue of  leadership succession has become an important conversation, as academic libraries are assessing their current internal leadership structures to ascertain if they can in fact, identify and foster new leadership. They are also engaging in ‘litmus testing’ to see if the soil of their organizations are creating the correct environmental balance for leadership germination with the necessary set of competencies, to meet the demands of the 21st century academic library.

 

This introspection is necessary, for organizational change as it relates to succession planning and the growing of quality, competent, leaders, is a complex, multi-layer process and as such requires a leader to possess competencies that when used with surgical precision will bring the required change to the organization. The term ‘surgical’ is used to suggest that the leader will have to know which competency to use at the appropriate time. As described in this definition of competencies, ‘a competence in general can be understood as the ability of an individual to activate, use and connect the acquired knowledge in the complex, diverse and unpredictable situations (Perrenoud, 1997, as cited in Svetlik, 2005).This ‘knowledge’ is more than performance knowledge, the leader has to know how to communicate the change and keep this communication sustained. The various competencies therefore act as the ‘tone of voice’ that the leader will use to communicate change to the followers and communicate the standards of leadership needed to sustain the academic library as a transforming organization. One author says it this way, ‘competencies are critical to planned organizational change implementation because they enable leaders to motivate and direct followers’ (Chemers, 2001 as cited in Boyatzis, 2008 para 5).

 

Therefore, if Caribbean Academic Libraries are to produce leaders that will enable their respective libraries to remain relevant or using a term more in line with business ideology, to remain competitive, a competency based approach to growing leadership from all levels of the organization, is recommended.

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