The Response of Private Academic Library Directors to Dual Pandemics and Opportunities for Collective Advocacy

Date of Award


Degree Name

Ed.D. in Educational Leadership


Department of Educational Administration


Meredith Wronowski


Through a critical phenomenological approach, this study captured the lived experiences of directors in the Ohio Private Academic Libraries (OPAL) consortium and their responses to dual pandemics, the COVID-19 pandemic and the pandemic of racism. Individual qualitative semi-structured interviews were conducted with ten OPAL directors to examine their roles as leaders in times of upheaval. Findings indicate that the pandemics amplified challenges in emotional and practical ways. Directors contended with emotional labor marked by ambiguity and burnout. Practical challenges (staff reductions, enforcing safety protocols, and the Great Resignation) further impacted morale. Racially just, equitable systems encourage workplaces defined by compassion, autonomy, and respect. Thus, directors must prioritize antiracism actions to dismantle white supremacy and racial capitalism in their libraries.


Educational Leadership, Higher Education, Library Science, academic libraries, private academic libraries, social justice, racial justice, ethics of care, ethics of love, Critical Race Theory, critical librarianship, COVID-19, racism, antiracism, critical phenomenology, participatory action research, diversity, equity, and inclusion, DEI

Rights Statement

Copyright © 2022, author.