Becoming director: An internal candidate's view

Pat A. Newcombe, James M. Donovan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Purpose: Within the literature on moving into library directorships, the track of the internal candidate is largely ignored. The purpose of this paper is to address this gap through description and analysis of the experiences of a successful inside candidate for the position of law library director. Design/methodology/approach: The paper reports a first-person account of an internal candidate. Accompanying analysis places the narrative into the larger context of relevant literature of personnel and library management. Findings: The internal candidate is suggested to differ from external applicants in several ways. Most significantly, possessing prior knowledge of the library, she can move quickly to address pressing problems, using that initial success to set the new administration on a productive course. Additional issues include the greater psychological toll of having to distance herself from former colleagues to fulfill administrative duties. Originality/value: Comparatively little consideration of the internal candidate exists in the library literature. This paper fills an identified gap in the literature on personnel and library management, and suggests relevant directions for future works.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)188-199
Number of pages12
JournalLibrary Management
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 2013


  • Academic law libraries
  • Academic libraries
  • Career development
  • Directors
  • Directorships
  • Human resource management
  • Inside/internal candidates
  • Job applications

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Library and Information Sciences


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