Recent research by Peter Hernon and Nancy Rossiter (in press) analyzed the extent to which desired traits listed in current job advertisements for library directors correspond with the five components of emotional intelligence (EI) identified by psychologist Daniel Goleman (i.e. self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skill.) The research of Hernon and Rossiter also examined the level of importance that current library directors themselves ascribed to those traits found in the ads. This study quantifies the extent to which the ninety-six traits listed by Hernon and Rossiter are likewise described as desirable by the authors represented in five published collections of essays on library leadership. It identifies additional desired traits referred to in the essays and which did not appear in the Hernon/Rossiter lists, quantifies the extent to which these appear in the essays, and then examines whether or not the additional traits fit the emotional intelligence schema. This study also compares the top five rated traits in each set of rankings, identifies the highest and lowest ranked traits across both sets based on an average number of all points given per trait, ranks each component of emotional intelligence based on the average number of points given to traits associated with each component, and concludes that in spite of only moderate correspondence between the rankings from the current study and the Hernon-Rossiter study, the overall high correspondence of many of the desired traits identified in the essays with the components of EI makes the Goleman theory of emotional intelligence a relevant tool for characterizing effective library leaders. The study concludes first by suggesting a valuable report on the findings that could be made to decision makers in an academic library setting, and then by considering topics on emotional intelligence and on library leadership worthy of future research.
Hopper, Rosita E., "Emotional Intelligence in Academic Library Leadership" (2005). Library Staff Publications. Paper 1.