Director of Library Programs and Services

City of Seattle, WA
September 1, 2023
Seattle, WA
Job Type


Position Description
Invitation to Compete #57-23: Director of Library Programs and Services

Central Library, 1000 4th Ave., Seattle, WA
This is a full-time, fully benefited, regular, FLSA exempt position.

$118,139.04 - $194,893.92 Annually

This position is open to the public and to The Seattle Public Library's employees. Please read the How to Apply section of this bulletin for more information. This recruitment will be open until the position is filled. Online applications that have been submitted with a cover letter and resume in NEOGOV by 5:00 p.m. on Monday, August 28, 2023 will receive first consideration.

About The Seattle Public Library
The Seattle Public Library's mission is to bring people, information and ideas together to enrich lives and build community. We view Seattle as a city where imagination and opportunity continue to thrive. Since 1891, we have grown from a single reading room to a world-class library system with 27 locations, including the iconic Central Library.

The Library works every day to foster and support a healthy city and a healthy democracy. We do this work guided by the principles of intellectual freedom, equity, literacy and the love of reading and learning, privacy and confidentiality, transparency and accountability to the community, strong partnerships and innovation. We are an active and committed partner in the City of Seattle's Race and Social Justice efforts.

Library employees are highly regarded by the public for their knowledge, quality of service, empath, compassion and caring. As a workplace, we value transparent communication, partnership and engagement. We are enriched individually and organizationally by our diversity and we are looking for a leader that continue our development of an inclusive workplace that delivers a sense of belonging to staff and patrons.

The Library is in the middle of a strategic planning process and is looking for a leader to join the team who is creative, flexible and willing to consider the future of Library services over the next decade. As we have a few leadership opportunities open. We are looking for a leader to help us as we consider restructuring and rebalancing units, services and team across the Library to better serve our patrons as we move towards are preferred future.
If you share these values and meet the qualifications, the Library invites you to apply for the Director of Library Programs and Services position.

About the Position
The Seattle Public Library is seeking an energetic and progressive individual to serve as Director of Library Programs and Services. This individual will work in partnership with the Senior Management and Leadership Team to realize the Library's Strategic Direction by providing leadership, oversight, and management of essential Library programs and services, while also building operational capacity and innovation

The Director of Library Programs and Services reports to the Executive Director and Chief Librarian and is responsible for the Library Programs and Services division to develop and deliver collections, programs, services, improved access and outreach to communities in an equitable fashion. This position is also responsible for reference and reader's advisory services, and information technology through all of the Library locations. A total of 540 employees work in the division; the division's operating budget is $72.3 million.

The Director of Library Programs and Services is responsible for the effective and efficient delivery of services to the citizens of Seattle consistent with the Library's mission, levy priorities and strategic priorities. The Director will set the vision for programs and services, direct and oversee the implementation of the division's work plan and actively participate in the development of the Library's program of services.

The Director of Library Programs and Services will foster a public service environment where the Central Library and branch libraries are true partners in delivering services to library users, as well as harness technology and staff creativity to deliver collections, programs and services to best meet patron demand. Key Library priorities include: supporting intellectual freedom; promoting literacy and a love of reading; protecting confidentiality of patron records; respecting, listening to and embracing the community; fostering a healthy democracy; supporting children and youth; developing equitable programs and services; forming strong partnerships and adapting and innovating to stay relevant.

Additionally, the Director of Library Programs and Services will demonstrate the Library's commitment to community, public service, civic engagement and diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility to promote the value of the Library and library staff to others through local, regional, state and national committees and boards where the Library can be a key partner or collaborator in causes and efforts supportive of our work.
Job Responsibilities

  • Set vision for programs and services. Lead innovative and positive service delivery process improvements.
  • Participate with the City and Library's Race and Social Justice efforts to address systemic and policy related race and social justice inequities.
  • Provide visionary leadership to realize the Library's Strategic Plan, Levy Priorities and program of service. Recommend strategic service improvements and enhancements that leverage emerging library trends, technology and service development opportunities.
  • Responsible for meeting patron service expectations. Guide and direct staff on standards of public service. Oversee studies to assess user satisfaction. Evaluate division performance and operations, and initiate changes as required.
  • Create and nurture strategic partnerships with community agencies and organizations to deliver effective and relevant programs, services, collections and events. Represent the division to community groups and local elected officials. Develop effective partnerships and collaborative working relationships. Represent the needs and interests of library users.
  • Oversee staff engaged in strategic outreach, engagement and community collaboration that supports city and Library priorities, reaches new users and promotes core services. Oversee the tailoring of services to distinctive audiences, and the evaluation and development of reference services that respond to the changing needs of patrons. Continue an emphasis on early learning program opportunities and the development and evaluation of relevant services to children and teens.
  • Oversee the implementation of a high-quality and consistent program of service, staff and public instruction in the use of information technology and digital literacy, and the Library's wide-range of collections, tools and resources.
  • Oversee the deployment of public and internal information technology systems, applications, hardware, and infrastructure to advance library collections, programs and services, institutional effectiveness, and the library as a whole.
  • Integrate equity values, principles and practices into program design, development, implantation and evaluation, and lead the application of an equity lens to policies, procedures and operations to address systemic and institutionalized racism.
  • Initiate a cross-divisional approach with other members of the Leadership Team.
  • Direct efforts to increase access to, and use of, Library collections, both traditional and electronic materials. Oversee the division's activities relating to the Library collection and online services in partnership with Information Technology and Marketing and Online Services. Direct the maintenance of the collection in the Central Library and neighborhood branches.
  • Make recommendations to the Executive Director and Chief Librarian on operational issues. Oversee the analysis and reporting of library usage data, conduct regular evaluation of the effectiveness of Library programs and services in meeting Library objectives.
  • Support the Labor management partnership by working collaboratively with the Union on labor strategy and proactive resolution of issues.
  • Direct, supervise, evaluate and develop Library Programs and Services management staff. Oversee activities of the Public Services Management Team, Collection and Access Management Team, and Equity, Learning & Engagement, Information Technology, and Library Operations staff.
  • Oversee the recruitment, development, supervision and mentorship of Library Programs and Services staff.
  • Contribute to the review, development and implementation of Library policies and procedures for the division.
  • Direct and monitor the development of the Library Programs and Services division's operating budget and oversee expenditures ; allocate and reallocate resources as needed. Provide guidance in the development of long-range forecasts for staffing resources and budget expenditures; develop strategic operating budget plans to meet short- and long-range objectives.


  • Education: A Master of Library and Information Science (MLS or MLIS) degree from an ALA-accredited library school.
  • At least seven years of management experience (executive level preferred) in a large, urban, multi-branch public library that demonstrates knowledge of public services including reference, programming, public instruction, library collections, service delivery technology and service evaluation.
  • Experience in a union environment preferred.
  • Experience in applying the principles, practices and philosophy of public library science and administration, and elements of strategic planning.
  • Ability to demonstrate vision, strategic thinking, collaboration and inclusive leadership skills; flexibility and adaptability; and a willingness to embrace and drive change initiatives. Ability to be intellectually engaging with strong interpersonal, communication and advocacy skills.
  • Ability to influence others, negotiate to a successful resolution, and engage in effective problem solving. Ability to recognize and set priorities, and to use initiative and independent management decision-making.
  • Ability to organize, direct, motivate and evaluate public services management and oversee same for public service employees. Ability to mentor others and foster a team environment.
  • Knowledge of, and proven experience applying, effective management practices and principles including human resource administration, budget development and fiscal administration, strategic planning, and project management.
  • Knowledge of public libraries and their role within a community, with particular emphasis on the Library's role in Intellectual Freedom.
  • A strong understanding of diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility principles, and demonstrated experience applying those principles to public library programs, services and operations.
  • Excellent communication, public speaking and presentation skills are essential.
  • A sense of humor and a positive and enthusiastic approach to public service and library leadership.
  • A passion for learning and a love of reading.

Additional Information
How to Apply
Candidates who meet the qualifications are asked to submit the following items in NEOGOV. Application materials received by 5:00 p.m. on Monday, August 28, 2023 will receive first consideration.
Complete online application.A cover letter that describes how your experience and skills align with the stated job responsibilities and qualifications. Please let us know why you are interested in this position.Current resume that summarizes relevant professional experience, education, training and skills.

Applications that do not include a cover letter, resume, and complete online application will not be considered.

Applications will be screened for competitiveness and completeness. Initial screening will be based on a review of application materials. The employment history detailed in your application materials MUST validate/support your responses to the supplemental questions. If your responses cannot be validated, you will not proceed to the next steps of the review/selection process. The most competitive candidates will be invited to participate in a series of one or more interviews.

Why join us?
The Seattle Public Library provides an inclusive work environment that supports a work life balance, including:

  • Hybrid work schedule opportunities
  • Generous benefits package
  • City pension plan with employer/employee contributions
  • Free public transportation options
  • Friendly and diverse work environment

Benefits and Salary Information

The full salary range for this position is $118,139.04 - $194,893.92 annually.

The City of Seattle offers a comprehensive benefits package including vacation, holiday, and sick leave as well as medical, dental, vision, life, and long-term disability insurance for employees and their dependents. More information about employee benefits is available on the City's website at: "Most" Employees Plans - Human Resources |

Retirement information can be found here: Seattle City Employees' Retirement System (SCERS) - Retirement |

Additional Information

Who may apply: This position is open to all candidates that meet the minimum qualifications. The Seattle Public Library encourages people of all backgrounds to apply, including people of color, immigrants, refugees, women, LGBTQ, people with disabilities, veterans, and those with diverse life experience. We actively work to eliminate racial and other disparities and welcome candidates with diverse backgrounds and/or multicultural skill sets and experiences.

If you have questions regarding this bulletin or employment at The Seattle Public Library, please send an email to . The Library promotes diversity and inclusion in employment. If accommodations are needed during the selection process, please email .
Please keep in mind that job offers are contingent on a review of criminal history as well as verification of information provided by the applicant as part of the application process.

The City of Seattle offers a comprehensive benefits package including vacation, holiday and sick leave as well as medical, dental, vision, life and long-term disability insurance for employees and their dependents.

More information about employee benefits is available on the City's website at:
"Most" Employees Plans - Human Resources |

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