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Professional Development And Middle Management: Making It Win Win.

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

Innovations in Library Management

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.1022.1 - 10.1022.10

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Paper Authors

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Suzanne Weiner

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Honora Nerz

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Professional Development and Middle Management: Making it Win-Win

Honora F. Nerz, Suzanne T. Weiner North Carolina State University


For librarians, professional development is a deeply held value. We know that the world in which we work is continually changing and that we must actively keep up with the changes in order to remain effective. This has its challenges, and those become especially acute after one has moved into a management position with increased responsibilities, such as the responsibility of developing and mentoring others. Combine this with workload, and often personal development goals are pushed to a lower priority. This paper will examine issues affecting professional development along with growth for librarians in management positions and discuss what professionals in these situations can do to take charge of their own development.


Development for the mid-career professional librarian holds many challenges. As the majority of the profession approaches retirement, finding librarians with the appropriate mix of leadership abilities, administrative potential and emotional intelligence to step into vacant positions is increasingly difficult.9 In looking for solutions to this problem it is critical that, as professionals, we pay particular attention to mid-career apathy and in some cases burnout. These are much discussed terms in the management and education/career literature (a search on these terms in Library Literature or LISA brings back hundreds of hits), and they can occur at any time and in any profession but are particularly prevalent in those individuals who have either been in their present management job for 3-5 years or those who have worked for 10-15 years in positions of increasing responsibility.

Feeling stuck in a job can happen at any stage of a career, but the role of a manager in any organization is particularly problematic and in many cases takes the individual away from their primary motivating interests in the profession. For some librarians those interests may be teaching, research, reference, technical services, information technology/digital library work or collection building. Moving from one of these highly focused, front-line positions into a management role with the responsibility for managing people, budgets, space and the organization’s advancement leaves little time for continuing to develop skills in core areas of interest. It leaves even less time for reflection on where professional development is needed.

Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2005, American Society for Engineering Education

Weiner, S., & Nerz, H. (2005, June), Professional Development And Middle Management: Making It Win Win. Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon.

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2005 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015