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Leadership for the 21st Century - The Library Marketplace

Leadership for the 21st Century

Libraries Unlimited

  • $90.95

Ann E. Prentice

ISBN-13: 9781610691963

194 pages • 7 x 10

Combining research, literary and biographical examples of leadership, and interviews with leaders and followers, this book provides an in-depth overview of leadership that identifies what works—and what doesn't.

Leadership is much more than a management technique: it is possessing the insight to see where it is possible to make a difference, and also having the tools to make that difference. Leadership for the 21st Century defines leadership, explains how it is practiced, and provides a rich portrait of what it is to be a leader, covering relevant and timely topics such as the importance of diversity, the role of social media in 21st-century leadership, and how to pass a leadership role on to another. It provides priceless information not only on what constitutes successful leadership but also illuminates why leadership falters.

Based primarily upon research, this book assembles leadership lessons from more than 100 biographies and autobiographies of a diverse group of leaders, including individuals from the worlds of science, economics, business, and human rights, and also includes thought on leadership derived from of many other individuals representing both leaders and those who follow the leaders. As a result, the author presents not only a clear "how-to" guidebook for those wishing to lead, but also a comprehensive, multifaceted examination of leadership from several relevant perspectives.


Reviewed by Stephanie McPherson, Trent Lakes PL

As professor emerita of library and information science and former dean at the University of Maryland, Ann E. Prentice is one of the leading scholars in library administration. Prentice shares her latest insights and research in her book Leadership for the 21st Century. Although her background is primarily in library and information science, this book is a valuable tool for any discipline. Prentice uses examples from the worlds of science, economics, business, human rights and, of course, librarianship.

Prentice expertly integrates examples from a diverse list of past leaders to outline some of the common characteristics that leaders share. She helps the reader to identify different categories of leadership attributes and how they are important to lead a team in the workplace. This allows the reader to recognize his or her own strengths and weaknesses and work toward self-improvement.

Throughout the book Prentice focuses on the workplace in the industrial age and how new technology is changing the workplace. For example, social media has provided a new tool for networking that was not available to previous generations. The importance of diversity is emphasized throughout the book, not only cultural diversity but growing a team with different skillsets and personalities that complement each other. Prentice also identifies many challenges that supervisors face in the real world, such as taking responsibility, maintaining integrity, and dealing with difficult situations.

The use of lessons from previous leaders—ranging from William Shakespeare to Abraham Lincoln to Mary Kay—and reading about current research provides a comprehensive examination of management through different perspectives. Additionally Prentice provides the reader with a thorough bibliography for each chapter that provides further information about each topic. Throughout the entire book Prentice draws upon research from other experts as well as her own.

Leadership for the 21st Century is appropriate for a variety of audiences. People who are aspiring to become leaders in the workplace or the community can benefit from learning about the necessary qualities and attributes in successful leaders. New leaders can learn about what Prentice says are important steps in leadership and how to build a strong team. Seasoned managers can refresh their skills and learn about how to adapt to changing technologies.

Ann Prentice has published several books about leadership and public libraries. She presents her research at conferences throughout the world. She has won the Association for Library and Information Science Education (ALISE)'s Award for Professional Service in January 2013.

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