Maha Kumaran is the collections librarian for Saskatchewan Health Information Resources Partnership (SHIRP) in the Health Sciences Library at the University of Saskatchewan. Prior to coming to the University, she worked at the Saskatoon Public Library, where she witnessed firsthand the challenges Saskatchewan libraries faced in serving their new diverse immigrant population. In an academic setting and in her current position within the Health Sciences Library, her interests have evolved into a scholarly focus on minority populations, services for minority populations, and minority leaders in libraries.
In her latest research project she was particularly interested in exploring leadership positions among minority librarians in English speaking countries such as Canada, the United States, Great Britain, and Australia. This interest has resulted in a book, Leadership in Libraries: A focus on ethnic minority librarians, which was recently published by Chandos Publishing, Oxford (2012).
Leadership in libraries: A focus on ethnic minority librarian asks why there are not enough minority librarians in the field to reflect the growing diversity of populations in developed countries and why there are still significant cultural differences affecting minority leadership styles in workplaces. The book then offers insights into the assimilation of minority leaders, presents information on learning and developing leadership skills and cross-cultural leadership, and touches on the possibilities of library schools consciously recruiting more minority students.
The book has been received favorably. Australian Library Journal, for example, in its review of the book, called it a “timely, thought provoking and informative work” and recommended it “for its contribution to our understanding of an important aspect of the information profession.”