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The experience of academic library middle managers is largely unexamined in the LIS literature, even though middle managers oftentimes function as change agents, succession planners, and project initiators and therefore make significant contributions to organizational success. This qualitative, interview-based study examines how middle managers in collection management or technical services departments experience “leading from the middle” and how they perceive their growth, development, and current roles as leaders. Over the course of ten interviews, significant themes emerged, including: initiating or implementing change; professional relationships with colleagues at all hierarchical levels; organizational culture; and professional development and institutional support for learning.