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ERIC Number: EJ875972
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Jul
Pages: 24
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0024-2519
Challenges in Governance: The Leadership Characteristics and Behaviors Valued by Public Library Trustees in Times of Conflict and Contention
Arns, Jennifer
Library Quarterly, v77 n3 p287-310 Jul 2007
Although single-purpose boards and commissions have been used to provide public goods and services since the colonial era, little scholarly attention has been given to the leadership characteristics and behaviors required of their members. As a result, appointing officials and those considering appointment have had little systematic guidance concerning the skills associated with successful service. This study addresses this problem by exploring the skill and knowledge preferences of board members at three exemplary public libraries and the effect of contentious censorship controversies on these preferences. Analysis of the board members' assessments of twenty-three commonly recognized leadership characteristics and behaviors reveals a dramatic increase in the numbers highly valued by the board members during controversies and statistically significant changes in their collective value. These findings suggest that assumptions concerning the experience and training that lead to effective public library board performance should be rethought or, at least, receive further consideration.
University of Chicago Press. Journals Division, P.O. Box 37005, Chicago, IL 60637. Tel: 877-705-188; Tel: 773-753-3347; Fax: 877-705-1879; Fax: 773-753-0811; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A