Library Leadership


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Being a successful leader in the new generation library profession, requires many competencies, skills and tools to understand, enable and manage the changes. Recognizing the opportunities, having clearer vision and strategic plans with a strong commitment in taking your team to success is every leader wants to do. Importantly, understanding the challenges to change, finding opportunities from the unknown and make the team resilient is what the successful leaders do. Aligning to the theme of this year’s SLA-AGC conference, this panel will consists of experts and practitioners discussing their experiences, new trends and preparations needed to develop next generation of library leaders.


Sohair Watsaway, Ph.D

Executive Director, Qatar National Library, Qatar Foundation

Dr. Wastawy was appointed as the Executive Director of Qatar National Library in October 2016. Before arriving to Qatar, Dr. Wastawy was the Dean of Libraries at Florida Institute of Technology in Florida, USA. She also served as the Dean of the University Libraries at Illinois State University. From 2004 to 2010, Dr. Wastawy provided leadership for a full range of library and cultural activities as the first chief librarian of the new Library of Alexandria in Egypt where she was instrumental in founding and building the programs the Library of Alexandria offers today. From 1992 to 2004 Dr. Wastawy was the Dean of Libraries at Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) and was affiliated with IIT since 1988 where she was as a researcher and library director for the Center of the Study of Professional Ethics until 1992. Prior to her work with IIT, Dr. Wastawy worked as a lecturer in Saudi Arabia and Egypt, respectively. Dr. Wastawy serves as member of professional associations boards and is the recipient of many awards and honors including a Fulbright scholarship. She is also an international consultant for library buildings and management.

Dr. Wastawy received her BA, MA, and completed work towards her Ph.D. thesis in Linguistics at Cairo University, Egypt. She possesses a Master’s degree in Library and Information Science from The Catholic University of America, Washington DC, USA and a Doctorate degree in Library and Information Management from Simmons College, Massachusetts, USA.

DeEtta Jones, MBA

Principal, DeEtta Jones Consulting
Ex-Director of organizational Learning, Association of Research Libraries, USA.

DeEtta provides strategic and organizational development consulting to libraries, not-for-profits and corporations. She has twenty years of experience consulting in libraries and designing and facilitating learning events for audiences around the world. DeEtta’s areas of professional strength are leadership development, managerial effectiveness, cultural integration, and executive coaching. She has facilitated strategy and organizational development processes for a wide range of institutions including Harvard University Faculty of Arts and Sciences/Harvard College Library, the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, University of British Columbia, Boston College, York University, Tufts University, Simon Fraser University, Discover Financial Services, United Airlines, and others. DeEtta has designed and served as a lead facilitator for nine national leadership development programs across North America including those sponsored by the National Library of Medicine/Association of Academic Health Sciences Library (NLM/AAHSL) Leadership Fellows Program, the Association of Research Library (ARL) Leadership and Career Development Program, and the ARL Leadership Fellows Program.

Before launching DeEtta Jones and Associates (DJA Consulting) in 2005, DeEtta spent ten years with the Association of Research Library, five of those years as Director of Organizational Learning Services and five as Director of Diversity Initiatives. Other previous professional experience includes Director of Human Rights Advocacy and Education for the City of Fort Collins CO; Director of Multicultural Education and Programs at Colorado State University; and Adjunct Faculty roles with Colorado State University and the University of Maryland, College Park. DeEtta has a M.S. in Higher Education Administration from Colorado State University, course work in Library and information science at Catholic University, and an M.B.A. from The Johns Hopkins University. DeEtta is based in Chicago, IL.


J. K. Vijayakumar, Ph.D

Acting Library Director, KAUST, Saudi Arabia.

Dr. Vijayakumar has seventeen years of continuously progressing and highly responsible leadership experience from health science, scientific and technological libraries in the Middle East, the Americas and India. Currently, he is the Acting Library Director and Manager of Collections and Services at the award winning King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) Library, which represents the new generation library of the future, a digitally born library offering 95% of the collections online and open 24/7 for the users. KAUST is a graduate research university of science and technology renowned by global benchmarks. He also worked as Associate Library Director at American University of Antigua in the West Indies and Scientist at the Information and Library Network Center in India. He holds a Doctorate and two Masters in Library Science and has published extensively in reputed journals and conferences. He is a member of IFLA Standing Committee on Acquisitions and Collections Development, and Editor for a few prestigious journals.