Supervising Librarian

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


Position Description
Invitation to Compete #70-23: Supervising Librarian

This recruitment is for two (2) positions. Locations below:

International District / Chinatown Branch (IDC), 713 8th Ave S., Seattle
Regular; FLSA-exempt; full-time (80 hours per pay period)

Wallingford Branch (WAL), 1501 N 45th St, Seattle
Regular, FLSA-exempt, full time, 80 hours per pay period

Annual salary range: $89,867.52 - $108,951.84

The hours for these positions may include weekdays, weekends and evenings. This classification is part of a bargaining unit represented by AFSCME.

These positions are 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. Candidates are asked to submit their application materials in NEOGOV by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, September 8, 2023.


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 in Pioneer Square to a world-class library system with 27 locations.

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, literacy and the love of learning, racial equity, privacy and confidentiality, respect for the community, strong partnerships and innovation. We are an active and committed partner in the City of Seattle's Race and Social Justice Initiative.

Library employees are highly regarded by the public for their knowledge, quality of service and caring. As a workplace, we value respectful and transparent communication, partnership and engagement. We are enriched individually and organizationally because of our diversity and growth mindset. We take time to recognize and celebrate the achievements of others.

If you share these values and meet the qualifications, the Library invites you to apply for this Supervising Librarian position.

The International District/Chinatown Branch is a vibrant district composed of Chinatown, Japantown, Little Saigon, and other ethnic cultures. The district has been a destination for people from all over Seattle and far beyond to experience its multi-cultural attractions, retail stores, restaurants, museums, and galleries. The International district/Chinatown Branch provides community connections for families through a weekly story time, other occasional educational and entertainment opportunities, and social and creative outlets for people of all ages from the neighborhood. The branch's Wi-Fi service and computers are well used and the two study rooms are popular community resources. Due to close proximity to the Central Library, the International District/Chinatown Branch shares common factors in demographics with the Seattle downtown region.

The Wallingford Branch features 2000 square feet of service space in a building owned by Solid Ground (and includes their administrative offices), and shares the ground floor with the local food bank. Located on the main street of the pedestrian-friendly Wallingford District, the Wallingford Branch Library is flanked by restaurants, cafes, and many retail stores frequented by citizens who live nearby. In addition, this branch is a critical resource for a growing school population as well as area residents seeking employment, housing, and other resources. This is a full-service library, which provides excellent reference service, a boutique collection in a variety of formats, and computers available for Internet access and word processing.

The Supervising Librarian position is responsible for managing operations and staff, performing higher-level administrative duties, and providing direct services at their respective branches. The Supervising Librarian also plays a key role in developing community relationships and collaborations, and ensuring that the branch is visible and engaged in the community it serves. This is an entry-level library management position that will contribute to meeting the community's educational, recreational, and cultural needs by providing Library services to the neighborhood. The position reports to a regional manager, works collaboratively with a regional management team, and supervises a branch staff and other staff as assigned and as public service needs require. The Supervising Librarian plays a key role in supporting regional community engagement, outreach and other regional and system-wide efforts.

Successful candidates for this position will have demonstrated mastery of the essential functions of a public service Librarian. These include proficiency in providing professional library services to diverse patrons of all age groups, abilities, and socio-economic status; assuming a leadership role when required including taking charge of the public services environment to effectively respond to service, safety, and operational issues; and contributing to and participating in the Library's learning and strategic service delivery environment. The Seattle Public Library is firmly committed to Intellectual Freedom and the City of Seattle's Race and Social Justice Initiative (RSJI). To this end, all librarians are expected to understand and support of Intellectual Freedom as a core value of the library and understand the role that the Library and librarians play in creating a more equitable community with increased opportunity for low income and historically marginalized individuals and families in Seattle. Additionally, all librarians are expected to understand that the degree to which librarians support Intellectual Freedom and the pursuit of equity are essential to the mission of the public library.

Additionally, the candidates must have demonstrated interest in their own as well as others' professional development through engaging in mentorship, participating in on-the-job training, or in continuous learning activities such as attending conferences, formal training classes, and/or educational programs.
Job Responsibilities
Community Engagement and Partnerships: Understand the role of community engagement in identifying community needs and goals, and develop relevant and responsive programs, services, and content that meet those needs. Engage with community members and organizations to develop and maintain both formal and informal relationships to realize outcomes that further community and Library goals. Understand the importance of bringing Library resources to where people are, both inside the library and spaces in the community.

Supervision: Provide a variety of supervisory activities designed to facilitate the effective and efficient operation of the branch. Participate in short- and long-range planning, staff development, resource allocation, and service delivery planning activities. Organize and coordinate the work of others; monitor and evaluate work performance; and oversee the development of individual work plans of staff in the designated branch. Hire and train staff. Secure appropriate administrative guidance and recommend, develop, and implement performance improvement activities; conduct performance appraisals; develop corrective action plans; and assist with disciplinary actions. Conduct coaching and training for staff on key operation functions, including circulation, as appropriate and as needed.

Information Services: Ensure the effective and efficient provision of library services in the branch. Provide a full range of professional library services including all levels of reference, general readers advisory, information, and referral. Under the leadership of the Regional Manager and as part of the regional Librarian team, plan, coordinate, develop, and implement library programs and services, including instructional, educational, and cultural/recreational programming for all ages.

Cultural Competency: Recognition of the need to continually develop and practice cultural competence in customer service, reference services, reader's advisory, program development, community engagement, teamwork and leadership with communities and staff that a librarian does not identify with.

Circulation Management: Serve as lead at the branch for all circulation functions and for handling and resolving patron circulation issues and complaints. Provide training to staff at the designated branch, as needed. Circulation includes organizing and overseeing the flow of materials, deliveries, shelving, routing, and other materials control functions; library card registration and borrower account issues; check out and self-check-out; branch holds and reserve issues; returns; overdue fines; and damaged and lost item charges. Provide public information services at the Circulation Desk as needed.

Administrative: Perform complex, specialized, technical activities, and administrative support activities directly related to the accomplishment of the branch objectives, including: local-level branch scheduling; preparing time sheets and payroll inputs; ordering supplies; preparing reports, compiling statistics, and planning; and scheduling and facilitating branch unit meetings. Assist with the management of disability accommodations functions, worker's compensation claim requirements, family and medical leave requirements, and similar staff services. Participate in and contribute to the development and implementation of policies, procedures, and objectives for the designated branch. Ensure Library policies and procedures are understood and complied with by communicating and interpreting them to staff and/or the public at the designated branch. Participate in and contribute to the development and implementation of regional goals and plans.

Leadership Support: Provide leadership support to the Library through collaborative problem solving; implementation of policies, procedures, and initiatives; and project coordination. Engage in effective teamwork to achieve commitment to system-wide goals through positive collaboration and effective facilitation of meetings and decision-making processes, as required. Support front-line staff in resolving customer service issues. Assume a leadership role to address emergency situations, and take ownership of the public service environment to create a welcoming environment while working to ensure the safety of staff and the public.

Intellectual Freedom: Support intellectual freedom. Assume responsibility for how the Library is perceived by staff and the public. Respond to patron questions and concerns about collection development, public internet use, and patron confidentiality.
Education: Must have an MLS from an ALA-accredited library school and/or Washington State Certification as a Librarian.

Information Services: Minimum of one year of experience providing information services in a public library setting. The ideal candidate for this position will have experience working with children and youth, and with culturally and economically diverse populations. Experience developing and providing formal and informal instruction and programming for youth and adults is also highly desirable.

Accountability and Autonomy: Demonstrated experience working independently or with minimal supervision to successfully perform tasks and solve problems. Must be able to recognize problems and assess situations, recall and/or gather and evaluate relevant information, and take appropriate action.

Performance Management/Staff Development: Demonstrated aptitude and interest in achieving organizational goals through directing work and managing the performance of others. A willingness and ability to supervise librarians, paraprofessional information service providers, circulation staff, and shelving staff. Staffing duties will also include interviewing and screening applications; selecting candidates; orienting and training new staff; assigning work; reviewing work quality; and coaching and evaluating performance.

Organization Skills: Demonstrated ability to recognize and set priorities; and plan, organize, and coordinate own work and that of others.

Teamwork: Strong facilitation and listening skills as well as an ability to work collaboratively in a team environment to find solutions to problems.

Technology and Informational Resources: Must have current working knowledge of computers in a Windows environment; library applications; and be able to use on-line, Internet searching methods, and information resources. Familiarity with social media platforms and other digital and online information tools and platforms is desirable. Experience with Horizon library automation or a similar system is preferred.

Exemplary Customer Service: Minimum one year of experience providing customer service and/or instructional or outreach services to the general public. The successful candidate will demonstrate a real commitment to public service and providing exceptional customer service. Candidates must possess excellent interpersonal communication, problem solving, customer relations, and teamwork skills; a sense of humor; and the ability to demonstrate a positive and enthusiastic commitment to public service.

Excellent Communication and Interpersonal Skills: Experience in public speaking and formal writing skills are highly desired. Must be able to clearly, diplomatically, and effectively communicate policies and procedures to Library staff and Library users from diverse ethnic, socioeconomic, and cultural backgrounds, as well as with neighborhood-based or special interest groups.

Intellectual Freedom: Applicants must have a strong commitment to intellectual freedom as defined by the Library's policies.

Project Management: Experience planning, developing, and implementing a project; or a minimum of one year of service on a working committee or task force. Familiarity with, and the ability to apply outcomes-based planning and evaluation methods is desired.

Desired Qualifications:

  • Experience interacting with individuals who are living with addiction or mental illness, as well as immigrant families, new English speakers, and people experiencing housing insecurity.

  • Familiarity with de-escalation strategies and demonstrated experience using those skills in fast paced, urban, and public customer service environments
  • Language abilities in Cantonese, Mandarin, Vietnamese, Spanish, and/or an East African language, in addition to English language skills, are highly desirable.
  • Candidates must be flexible; able to handle multiple competing priorities and tasks; adaptable to change; and able to work innovatively and effectively in a small, neighborhood-focused branch setting.
  • Commitment to collaboration and ability to adapt to changing needs.
  • Commitment to Race and Social Justice-and the ability to work with staff to increase equity in our services and programs.
  • Skilled at working with a branch team to effectively manage the environment with compassion and care.
  • Ability to provide programming, outreach and other community engagement work for families and children, such as story times, Global Reading Challenge, and Summer of Learning is highly desired.

Additional Information
How to Apply

Candidates who meet the qualifications are asked to submit the following items in NEOGOV by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, September 8, 2023 to be considered:

Online applicationA 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 education, professional experience, training and skills. Applications that do not include a cover letter, resume, and complete online application will not be considered.

Applicants will be screened for competitiveness, completeness, and written communication skills. 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.

Benefits and Salary Information

The full annual salary range for this position is $89,867.52 - $108,951.84

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:

Information about retirement plans can be found at:

Additional Information

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 contact us.

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 |

Closing Date/Time: 9/8/2023 5:00 PM Pacific

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