Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Reflecting on the Core Values and Defining Moments of Public Library Directors
by Morris, Sharon P., Ph.D., Simmons College, 2015, 257; 3664069
Abstract (Summary)

This study, which contributes to the scant research on personal values in the library profession, examines the core values and the related defining moments of 12 public library directors who work in rural, suburban, and urban settings throughout the United States. The participants, recognized as managerial leaders in public libraries, oversee some of the highest use libraries per capita in the country. They share common values of benevolence, self-direction, and universalism as identified by the Portrait Values Questionnaire (PVQIV).

The second methodology, narrative inquiry, examined life stories to identify common critical incidents and defining moments that challenged and instilled values. Core values shared among participants include integrity, respect, loyalty, fairness, equity, learning, adaptation, and responsibility. Probing defining moments also revealed that the participants use three distinct paths to resolve critical incidents. In each case, the defining moments resulted in these individuals experiencing more self-confidence, deeper commitment to core values, and the able to find meaning and purpose in their work. Participants indicated that, as organizational leaders, public library directors are responsible for meeting the needs of various stakeholders, including library personnel, governing authorities, library users, and the public. These responsibilities are motivated by a core value of seeking to enhance the intellectual welfare of others.

Researching personal values is salient because these values, in essence, define who we are, and they influence us whether or not we are consciously aware of them. This research contributes to the literature in organizational development by identifying techniques managerial leaders use to reduce challenges to values (mindfulness and self-regulation) and strategies to successfully navigate values conflicts (reflection, paths to insight, courage, and persistence).

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Hernon, Peter
Commitee:
School: Simmons College
School Location: United States -- Massachusetts
Source: DAI-A 77/01(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Library science, Public administration
Keywords: Critical incidents, Defining moments, Leadership, Leadership-moral and ethical aspects, Library administration-United States, Personal values
Publication Number: 3664069
ISBN: 9781339114569
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