This is the author accepted manuscript (AAM). The published version is available in The Journal of Academic Librarianship.

Full citation:

Heyns, E., Eldermire, E. R. B., & Howard, H. A.(2019) Unsubstantiated Conclusions: A Scoping Review on Generational Differences of Leadership in Academic Libraries, The Journal of Academic Librarianship, 45(5). DOI 10.1016/j.acalib.2019.102054


The academic library profession is experiencing a large turnover in leadership. To date, information on differences in the generational expectations about how to lead is scarce and the research is contradictory. This article presents a scoping review of the literature on generational expectations of academic library leaders. Based on predefined eligibility criteria, the authors searched twelve bibliographic databases and performed a broad web search. 5,435 articles were located and considered for inclusion, however, only four eligible articles were identified and included for analysis. There is little empirical evidence that generational differences are evident in the academic library setting or in individual leadership expectations. There is a lack of original research on generational differences in leadership in libraries, however, anecdotal and opinion literature is drawing attention to this topic in ways that cannot be validated.


Leadership, Library Directors, Generations, Baby Boomer, Generation X, Millennial, Academic Libraries, Succession Planning

Date of this Version