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Non-librarians as managers: The case of state university libraries in Saudi Arabia

IFLA Journal , Volume 39 (3) – Oct 1, 2013


Sage Publications
© 2013 by SAGE Publications
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Non-librarians as managers: The case of state university libraries in Saudi Arabia


This article defines non-librarians, also called accidental librarians, or non-degreed librarians, identifies their categories according to the nature of jobs, and whether they are suitable for managerial positions, particularly the high profile academic position of the Dean of Library Affairs at state university libraries in Saudi Arabia. Non-librarian deans having no library credentials face a lot of difficulties in managing libraries as efficiently as a librarian dean would have managed. The management styles of non-librarian deans are also discussed to present how much they differ from those of librarian deans. The paper also suggests that the university administration should prepare a group of highly motivated librarians and send them on scholarships to library schools famous for their doctoral programs in North America and Europe. Once they get their PhD degree, bring them back and replace all non-librarians with them as the current practice of appointing non-librarian is affecting libraries negatively.
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