Leadership and Management Practices in the 21st Century Academic Libraries

Gift Nneka Lazarus, Arinola Adeola Adesoji and Iliasu Jinadu
Keywords: Leadership and management practices, leadership styles, followership, delegation, 21st century academic library
Journal of Library Services and Technologies 2019 1(2), 51-61. Published: January 31, 2020


This paper explores the place of leadership and management practices in the 21st century academic libraries, the role of leaders and managers, leadership styles as well as the levels of efficacy. This paper argues that for academic libraries to function effectively and efficiently in today’s new economy, it needs effective leaders and managers as well as competent and reliable followers. This is because the emerging technologies in this era have expanded the responsibilities of librarians. It also posits that the place of leadership and management practices in today’s academic libraries are changing because of the extreme competition among libraries in the new global economy, the emerging technologies, and globalization spurred by the Internet. The paper concludes that leaders and managers in the 21st century academic libraries should do things differently than those of the 19th and 20th century in order to effectively lead and succeed in the highly competitive global economy. This paper recommends that what makes effective leadership and management in the rapidly changing 21st century academic libraries include their personality and style of leadership, passion and values, decision-making and problem-solving process as well as their expectations and levels of relationship with their followers. Also, being transparent would improve the leader’s integrity as well as being consistent in their actions will enable them to put their employees or followers at ease and avoid them from second-guessing what to expect from their leaders.