Support for emerging leaders

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Leading libraries

As part of its research base for the leading libraries work, SCONUL surveyed those working in senior teams within our member libraries to establish the kinds of interventions and support that they would find useful in their leadership journey. This feedback from our emerging leaders has informed the work of the Task and Finish Group. For example, those surveyed indicated that SCONUL support for more formal leadership training and networking events would be helpful. SCONUL is publishing a directory of leadership courses and will be promoting our events for members. Those who were already members of a SCONUL deputies group found membership of them invaluable but some were not aware of how to join a group. We will be reminding members of the deputies’ groups and how to join them through the SCONUL email list at regular intervals. Guidance and support documentation will also be updated and provided to each deputies group.

We suggest that emerging leaders:

find a mentor SCONUL is launching a new mentoring scheme for emerging and newly appointed leaders. If you are interested either in finding or becoming a mentor, please see our briefing on the scheme or register your interest by emailing You can find out more about coaching and mentoring from a SCONUL briefing here.
join an action learning set SCONUL is partnering with AUDE, BUFDG, UHR, and UCISA to deliver action learning sets for deputies across professional services. For more information please click here. Action learning is a powerful development experience for leaders. Here is what one particpant discovered "I found the experience both challenging and rewarding. The value of the action learning approach was amplified by sharing the experience with colleagues from a range of professions and institutions". For more information see the SCONUL briefing here.
join a group for deputies SCONUL facilitates the creation of new groups of deputies who come together to share experience and learn from each other in an informal way. If you're not already involved in one of these groups and would like to be, you can find out more about them here or register your interest by emailing
find a leadership course SCONUL has produced a directory of leadership courses suitable for those leading libraries or aspiring to do so. This provides a representative sample based on desk research and made from a global long list of several hundred options. The directory is available here.
learn from the latest research What strategies can library leaders employ to ‘lead in uncertain times’? Which approaches to leadership are needed in the context of continuous and rapid organisational, legislative, and technological change? To explore these questions read the Leading libraries literature review click here.