Leadership Reflections: It is Not About the Perks

Maggie Farrell, University of Nevada, Las Vegas


Our guest columnist is Karl Bridges who has served in a variety of leadership roles in academic libraries. I have gotten to know Karl over the past few years as he was asked to serve in an interim dean role and then hired into the permanent dean positions. At the time, I was at the University of Wyoming and serving as a leader in sparsely populated state where everyone knows your name. Western leaders have to form a tight bond – there are fewer of us and the distances are great. But regardless of geographical situations, leaders need and depend on peer networks that provide a safe space for frank conversations and sharing ideas that help all libraries achieve their goals. Karl has dealt with changing university leadership, library transformations, and dire budget situations. Well, pretty much what every library leader must face. Despite these challenges, library leaders have an opportunity to make a real difference. Karl draws upon his years of experience to provide a thought piece about library leadership noting the complexity, the importance of leadership, and the real joy of making a difference in someone’s life. I hope you enjoy this raw look at leadership and that it reminds you of the purpose of leadership.