SPEC Kit 331: Changing Role of Senior Administrators  · 17
Survey Questions and Responses
The SPEC Survey on the Changing Role of Senior Administrators was designed by Julie Garrison,
Associate Dean for Research and Instructional Services, Grand Valley State University, Kathleen DeLong,
Associate University Librarian for Human Resources and Teaching/Learning at the University of Alberta,
and Marianne Ryan, Associate University Librarian for Public Services at Northwestern University. These
results are based on data submitted by 46 of the 126 ARL member libraries (37%) by the deadline of April 16,
2012. The survey’s introductory text and questions are reproduced below, followed by the response data and
selected comments from the respondents.
In 2000, SPEC Kit 256 The Changing Roles of Library Professionals examined how job descriptions had been redesigned to
address technological advances, changes in libraries’ focus, and redefined institutional goals. The environment continues to change
for libraries and the users they serve, and research libraries are implementing strategies to ensure their workforce has the skills
and competencies to further the mission of their libraries and institutions. To support these efforts, ARL is focusing on the “next
generation” workforce and the new skills required to design and manage the 21st century research library.
This survey focuses on the professional, administrative, and management positions that report directly to the library director (or in
some ARL member libraries the position that serves as the representative to the association), positions that have not been examined
by a SPEC survey since 1984. These positions have a variety of designations, including deputy director, associate director, vice
president, and director, manager, or head of a division, department, or branch library. For the purposes of this survey, these will be
referred to as senior administrative positions and the incumbents as senior library administrators.
The survey explores the responsibilities of these positions, and the skills, qualifications, and competencies necessary for these
administrators to successfully lead a transforming 21st century research library. It looks at whether and how position requirements
have changed in the past decade, whether the number of direct reports has changed, whether these administrators have assumed
new areas of organizational responsibility, and how they acquire the new skills to fulfill those responsibilities. The survey authors will
mine the submitted job descriptions, organization charts, and other documents for details on how the role of these positions have
changed.
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