Date of Award


Degree Name

Leadership Studies


College of Education and Professional Development

Type of Degree


Document Type


First Advisor

Dr. Eugenia Lambert, Committee Chairperson

Second Advisor

Dr. Bobbi Nicholson

Third Advisor

Dr. Kelli Johnson


Prior to the pandemic academic library leadership faced a host of challenges, such as budget shortfalls, serials crisis, shifting and evolving technologies and patron expectations. These long-term obstacles were compounded by the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic which required library deans and directors to implement ever evolving safety measures while balancing the needs of library employees, students, faculty, and staff. The mental health of academic librarians and staff has long been the subject of research; however, few studies focused on the mental health experiences of academic library deans and directors. The purpose of this interpretative phenomenological analysis is to describe the experiences of academic library deans and directors through the early months of the pandemic and to utilize those data to help library leadership manage their own mental health while assisting their employees’ well-being during future crises.


Academic librarians – Leadership – Mental health.

COVID-19 (Disease) – Libraries.

COVID-19 Pandemic, 2020- -- Libraries.