Document Type


Original Presentation Date



Poster presented at 2016 ALA Annual Conference in Orlando, Florida

Date of Submission

October 2016


Can an academic librarian who has only worked on the front lines compete with those who have supervisory experience for middle management positions? What traits are hiring committees looking for in middle managers for public services, especially in applicants with no prior supervisory experience? While the literature does provide tips and advice for new managers, as yet there are no studies examining what hiring committees look for in middle management applicants.

This study has taken a three-pronged approach to data collection: a qualitative study consisting of interviews with academic librarians who have served on hiring committees for middle-management positions, and with public services librarians who have recently made the transition from the front lines to their first supervisory position; and an analysis of the preferred and required qualifications in job ads for middle-management public services positions in academic libraries from the last five years.

The results provide guidance on the steps frontline academic librarians can take in order to successfully translate their abilities, knowledge, and skills into their first supervisory position. There is currently no other study in the literature that examines the traits and attitudes that hiring committees are looking for in middle managers, or one that compares and contrasts those factors with the qualifications listed in job ads for similar positions.


academic libraries, promotion, hiring practices, middle management, leadership

Is Part Of

VCU Libraries Faculty and Staff Presentations