Hirsch Abstract April 11

The Transformational Leadership Practices of National Board Certified School Librarians in North Carolina

Kimberly A. Hirsh

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TITLE: The Transformational Leadership Practices of National Board Certified School Librarians in North Carolina
RESEARCHER: Kimberly A. Hirsh
School of Information and Library Science
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Unpublished master’s thesis: April 2011

The purpose of this study was to describe the leadership practices of National Board school librarians in North Carolina and determine to what extent they are able to carry out the leadership practices identified in Empowering Learners new standard librarian guidelines.

The target population is National Board Certified school library leaders in North Carolina: 424 were asked to participate in the survey, while only 154 chose to do so (25% response rate). The typical respondent had less than 10 years of teaching experience (71%) with an equivalent distribution of between 4-14 years of experience as a librarian (57%) and 15-31 years (43%). Most were school librarian media coordinators (95%), serve primarily rural communities (48%), K-5 grade levels (46%), flexible scheduling (60%), and a student population at their schools of between 501-1000 students (45%). Respondents completed the Leadership Practices Inventory and a 22-item survey created by the author based on the text of Empowering Learners.

Enable was the leadership practice they reported as engaging in most frequently, followed by Encourage and Model, and Challenge, and Inspire. Their average scores on each of the five leadership practices were significantly higher than those reported in the Kouzes and Posner normative database. There was strong significant correlation between each of the leadership practices and the Empowering Learners scale (0.619 and above), with Challenge and Inspire being the two highest correlations. The author argues: “The fact that the EL practices correlate most strongly with areas in which school librarians felt the least confident suggests that school librarians could better implement guidelines which support these two areas” (p. 37).