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Mission Bell Media publishes print and digital media for the library market with a focus on leadership. Publishing authoritative and empowering leadership content for libraries worldwide.

On Leadership

From the Librarian's desk: African American Leadership

Rolf Janke

At the recent ALA Conference in San Francisco, we were delighted to meet Simmona Simmons, Services Development Librarian at University of Maryland at Baltimore County and see her enthusiasm for the publication of African American Leadership. We're thankful for her willingness to share her insight on this title from a librarian viewpoint. 

Name:  Simmona E. Simmons

Professional Title: Services Development Librarian with Albin O. Kuhn Library & Gallery, University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC)

Favorite online spots: Library Journal and Schomburg

African American Leadership is a single volume, A-Z format reference tool that is an obvious fit for reference collections. Do you feel that this topic and content would also be a fit for the circulation section?

Simmona:  Yes, this A-Z reference tool is a timely publication that addresses a need in this subject area. The expert contributors have provided a huge range of articles from Abolition Movement to Scientific and Technological Leadership. Within the encyclopedia, it covers several components of leadership.  The enumeration includes Academic Leadership, Artistic Leadership, Business Leadership, Leadership in Faith Communities, Organizations and Institutions, Political and Social Leadership, and Scientific and Technological Leadership. 

Editor, Dr. Tyson King Meadows notes that the many celebratory narratives about the President’s victories in 2008 exalted him as the harbinger of a “new” African American leadership paradigm.  He reminded the readers about Jessie Jackson’s 1984 and 1988 campaign for the Democratic nomination.  He also calls attention to the New York Democratic Representative, Shirley Chisolm, who was the first African American woman elected to congress.  She was a pioneer when she received the nod and became the Democratic Presidential nomination in 1972. 

When guiding students doing research how would this title and it’s specific topics and themes be an asset in their research?

Simmona: Often, librarians recommend that students consult a specialized encyclopedia for an overview of a particular subject. This work provides general overview of numerous topics on leadership.

The Leadership Glossary of essential terms is a bonus to the students seeking research in this area.  The author acclaims that Leadership studies is a still-developing field, one applicable to and drawing from numerous disciplines. The author further notes that the glossary includes terms in the core base of knowledge as well as terms from related areas. The editor notes, “This contemporary, informative and authoritative supplemental text covers more than 975 essential leadership terms from an interdisciplinary perspective.”

In many cases, students will need to establish a broader context or build a backdrop for their topic and describe what is going in the news.  The chronology highlights many major events beginning with 1619 and moving the reader on the time journey to 2015.

This timely and relevant resource contains valuable information from scholars and thought leaders on this topic. I highly recommend this source. We have purchased two copies, one for the Reference Collection and the other for the Faculty Publications Collection since we collect faculty publications we commend Dr. Tyson King Meadows and his research partners on doing such a splendid job.

    Thank you, Simmona for your thoughtful insight!   


Thank you, Simmona for your thoughtful insight!