Assessing Generational Preferences in Characteristics of an Admired Leader Among Career Library Professionals

Amy Tureen, Susie Skarl


This study utilizes Posner and Kouzes’ Characteristics of an Admired Leader (CAL) instrument to determine if there are generational preferences in characteristics of an admired leader among career library professionals. Data was gathered from nearly 800 respondents, coded into generational cohorts, and assessed from commonalities across generational lines. Additional assessment of the data sought trends across generational cohorts within the context of employment status, library type, library subfield, and generational identity. The authors concluded that while there is little generational difference in the characteristics of an admired leader, there are commonalities across the profession at large and suggest that library administrators and leaders prioritize developing the shared characteristics and competencies as they develop and engage in their own practice.


leadership; generational differences; management; Baby Boomers; Millennials; Silent Generation; Traditionalists; Generation X

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American library Association Texas Digital Library