Struggling with Role: an investigation into the consequences of appointing academics to the position of library directors in Iranian Universities

Document Type : مقالات پژوهشی


1 Assistant Professor of Isfahan University Library Department

2 A master's student in librarianship and information at Isfahan University

3 Assistant Professor, Department of Educational Sciences, University of Isfahan


Purpose: This research has investigated consequences of the policy of appointing academic staff as part-time university library directors and managers in Iranian universities.

Method: Semi-Structured interviews were conducted with 17 directors and managers of university libraries in Isfahan, Tehran and Mashhad. Analysis followed the techniques of continual comparison proposed in the Grounded Theory methodology using open, axial, and selective coding.

Findings: The data indicate that part-time library directors and managers, LIS professionals or otherwise, lack interest in their managerial role. Because of carrying out responsibilities of full-time academics simultaneously, they face time limitation and conflict in roles assigned. They prefer educational and research roles. Lack of expertise in library work, intensifies lack of interest in the role among non LIS academics holding library directorship responsibility. Conversely, fulltime LIS professional managers identified themselves with their managerial role and were found to be focused on their responsibilities.

Originality: A similar research was not found in Iranian LIS literature.

Implementation: Findings are expected lead to correction in the policy of selecting managers of university library in Iran.

Keywords: Role Conflict – Directors - Managers- University Libraries - Iran


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