DATE ENTERED: December 9, 2022
Library Director
LOCATION: Kalamazoo Public Library (MI)
January 29, 2023

Library Director – Kalamazoo Public Library (MI)

The award-winning, successful Kalamazoo (MI) Public Library seeks a leader who will serve both the library and the community as an engaged, active participant and contributor. The seven-member elected Board of Trustees and the staff (136 FTE) are pledged to social justice principles through its strong programs and services supporting 116,000 community residents. The library has a $12.7 million annual operating budget, with a Central Library, four neighborhood branch locations, the KPL Mobile Library, and a supportive Friends of the Library organization. The library emphasizes preschool literacy as a Family Place Library and has developed critical services including OneCard—a program to provide library cards to all Kalamazoo Public Schools children; the County Law Library; and a comprehensive Local History Collection (2011 State History Award). In addition to being Library Journal’s 2002 Library of the Year, the Kalamazoo Public Library also received the 2012 State Library’s Citation of Excellence Award for superior customer service and has become a fine-free library. Kalamazoo voters have a long history of support and love for their Library culminating in successful twenty-year levy elections in 2009 and 2014. Key initiatives for the new Library Director include realizing the library’s DEI goals; conducting a facilities and space needs assessment; developing an organizational culture of trust and compassion; and upholding the library’s commitment to social justice. 

Kalamazoo, a medium-sized city equidistant from the metro areas of Chicago and Detroit, is home to the nationally recognized Kalamazoo Promise, Kalamazoo College, and Western Michigan University with a new School of Medicine, outstanding healthcare systems, and many recreational and cultural amenities. Kalamazoo also created a partnership—Foundation for Excellence—between private philanthropy and the city to provide a forward-looking community benefiting everyone. Kalamazoo has a lively theater and music scene, including the Gilmore Keyboard Festival and Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra; microbreweries, restaurants, and specialty retail create a vibrant Downtown energy. Recreational amenities include stellar parks, inland lakes, bike trails, and proximity to Lake Michigan. Equally enticing is Kalamazoo’s low cost of living and affordable housing. 

Responsibilities: The Library Director has overall responsibility for the planning, development, implementation and evaluation of all Library operations and works successfully with staff, Board, governmental officials, and community stakeholders. Primary responsibilities include, but are not limited to, implementing Board policies and program decisions; developing the annual budgets tied to Library goals; implementing and evaluating the strategic plan; hiring, developing and retaining Library personnel; developing and implementing long-range capital improvements plans; and advocating for the library in the local, state and national community. 

Qualifications: Minimum qualifications include a Master’s in Library Science from an ALA-accredited program, the ability to obtain or already hold a Michigan Librarian’s Permanent Certificate (requires four (4) years of full-time employment or an equivalent time period of paid professional library work following the completion of the MLS degree), and five (5) years professional library experience at a management level.  Preferred qualifications include sound fiscal management skills; the ability to mentor and inspire a strong, creative staff; knowledge of best practices and trends in library technologies; and proven success in community engagement and partnership development. Prior Library Director experience reporting to a governing Board in a multi-branch environment and experience working with collective bargaining units are also desirable. The ideal candidate will be a strong communicator with the skills to foster a healthy work environment, be an active participant in library operations, and seek to find genuine connections with staff and community members. 

Compensation: The hiring salary range is $120,000 – $145,000 (with placement negotiable dependent on experience and qualifications) and an excellent fringe benefits package. 

For further information, contact Bradbury Miller Associates. Apply via email with a meaningful cover letter and your resume as Word or PDF attachments to Brian C. Hare ([email protected]). This position closes on January 29, 2023

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