Teacher Education, Educational Leadership & Policy ETDs

Publication Date



This qualitative case study examines the relationship between emotional intelligence competencies and the personal attributes of academic library disaster response assistance team members who led their libraries to recover from a disaster. Using appreciative inquiry protocol to conduct individual and focus group interviews at two academic libraries — the University of Iowa, which suffered a flood in 2008 and the University of New Mexico, which underwent a fire in 2006 — this research contributes to understanding disaster team members emotional intelligence. The study presents findings from emergent thematic coding of interview transcripts, documents, and artifacts. The overarching theme was one of creating a culture of camaraderie to cope with the disaster, exemplified through teamwork, collaboration, and initiative. A more complex finding involved the realization that although solid leadership was exhibited by traditional library leaders, most often leadership was expressed through the initiative of individuals who took responsibility and made quick decisions in the moment. Other major themes were trust/trustworthiness, communications, and adaptability. The study provides another layer of understanding through the application of predetermined concept choice mapping of the data, using Goleman's (2001) Framework of Emotional Intelligence Competencies. All twenty emotional intelligence competencies were mapped in participants' transcripts. These results amplify the major themes found in the emergent thematic coding and suggest a strong relationship between emotional intelligence competencies and attributes exhibited by disaster team members as they dealt with the disasters at their respective institutions. Study findings may inform library leaders who appoint and provide training for disaster team members.'


Academic libraries -- Administration, Academic librarians -- Psychology, Emotional intelligence, Academic libraries -- United States -- Case studies, Emergency managmement -- Psychological aspects

Document Type




Degree Name

Educational Leadership

Level of Degree


Department Name

Teacher Education, Educational Leadership & Policy

First Committee Member (Chair)

Alicia F. Chávez

Second Committee Member

Allison M. Borden

Third Committee Member

Eliseo "Cheo" Torres

Fourth Committee Member

Susan Deese-Roberts