Birrell Publishes Book on Library Leadership

Lori Birrell
University Relations

Lori Birrell

Lori Birrell, associate dean for Special Collections at the University of Arkansas Libraries, recently authored the book Developing the Next Generation of Library Leaders, published by the Association of College Research Libraries in January 2020. 

"I got the idea for writing this book when I assumed a management position at my former institution," said Birrell, who served at the University of Rochester as the Special Collections librarian for historical manuscripts from 2011-2017 and as interim co-director in March - June 2016. "I began to explore this topic in my doctoral dissertation completed in 2017 at the University of Rochester, and upon arrival at the University of Arkansas I began the next phase of my research."

Birrell joined the University of Arkansas in 2017 as the head of Special Collections for the University Libraries and was promoted to associate dean of Special Collections in 2019, when the former department became a division.

"I believe that leadership skills are not something we're necessarily born with," Birrell said. "Rather we continuously develop those skills throughout our careers."

Birrell conducted interviews with 22 assistant or associate deans of academic libraries during the fall 2017 semester. 

"Through those interviews I came to understand the leadership journeys those administrators had taken and the work they're doing through their institutions and professional organizations to help prepare the next generation of leaders," she said.


Lori Birrell, associate dean for Special Collections
University Libraries

Kelsey Lovewell Lippard, director of public relations
University Libraries


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