Principal Librarian

Boulder Public Library

Boulder Public Library

Application Deadline

Apply By Apr 18th, 2014


$71,000.00 to $108,100.00 per Year   Calculate


Boulder, CO




Not Specified

Minimum Education

Master's Degree

Library Experience

Not Specified

Supervisory Experience


Type of Library


This job is more than 3 weeks old or the application deadline has passed.

Job Description

Please look beyond the formal-sounding job title!  Do you have the drive and energy to join a fearless team with a start-up mentality? Do you believe that John Cotton Dana was right when he said that ultimately the public library is about ‘happiness’?  Do you want to take a leadership role in "Re-Inventing the Place to be?"

As Principal Librarian, you will be the chief choreographer shaping how customers experience Boulder Public Library.  This job has nothing to do with being that severe authority figure wandering the hallways of your elementary school.  We don't want Madam Pince of Harry Potter's library at Hogwarts; what we want is someone more like Harry himself. This fantastic job is one of three senior staff positions at BPL responsible for overseeing all public service and collection development activities. We are looking for innovative and flexible applicants who can lead AND thrive in a collaborative environment. We want applicants who see the value in EVERY staff position and understand that their own role can change daily. The ideal candidate will be part leader, part guide, part planner, part participant, and will know how to recognize and celebrate the success of others.

Boulder Public Library has great resources, an awesome staff, amazing cultural programming, and the capacity for so much more. One of your first gigs as the new Principal Librarian will be a complete restructuring of our customer service model – a process we began last fall. We are also in the midst of a $4M renovation of the Main Library - complete with new teen & children’s areas, a maker space, complete RFID conversion, and implementation of self-service technologies. If that does not sound like enough, we just opened a new library station in north Boulder.  

An effective Principal Librarian will bring a wealth of public library skills, knowledge and experience: proven management successes, emotional intelligence, relationship building strategies, and familiarity with technology trends as they impact the services we deliver to the community. A great Principal Librarian will know how to be courageous and kind and have fun while exhibiting all the stuff above.

Additional Info & Requirements

Check out the formal position description for required and preferred specifics. There’s a lot to absorb there in terms of duties and responsibilities, so know that we’re looking for applicants with experience in those areas. Sampled examples: 

-          Strong customer focus

-          Effective communications

-          Leadership and management

-          Comfortable presenting to groups of stakeholders, inside and beyond the library

-          Understands value of library services in the digital age

-          Engages in professional development and professional library organizations

-          Exhibits our core values

The Community

Boulder is not just a beautiful place. There is a kindness and warmth about the people here that exist only in places that truly value community. There are hundreds of reasons to live here including (to name just a few): 1) Three hundred days of sunshine; 2) The ability to walk out your back door to hit the trails; 3) An amazing, constantly-evolving food scene; 4) An influx of culture and diversity thanks to the University of Colorado and Naropa University; 5) Rubbing elbows with artists, entrepreneurs and start-up companies in a place with more new businesses per capita than almost any city in the nation. From technology to design to aerospace to the arts, Boulder continues to define itself as a leader.

No matter what you may have heard about Boulder, Boulderites are fiercely independent and passionately engaged. Boulder's citizenry continues to redefine what civic participation looks like. They take an active role in promoting public infrastructure such as libraries, parks, and open space. Today, the City of Boulder is in the midst of a dramatic re-envisioning of its downtown civic corridor. Our Main Library is the western anchor of this bold new vision. The city’s core values are important to us. Read them. Commit them to memory. There won’t be a test, but we do expect you’ll live them as we do--and the good news is you'll be happy to, because these values just make sense.

HR Info

Human Resources Department 1101 Arapahoe Ave, First Floor Boulder, CO 80302 tel: 303-441-3070 fax: 303-441-3049

Qualified applicants will dig in deeper and see what we’re looking for by looking at the position description. They’ll submit a cover letter. And a resume. Of course, the best will bring their A game. We hope you’re one of those, and we welcome your application! 

Here’s where the formal city government process comes into play. We have faith that you can persevere through these hoops…

From our City of Boulder HR colleagues:

Complete a City of Boulder Employment Application. Applications are required for all City of Boulder position openings and must be filled out completely and accurately. Resumes and cover letters may be attached to applications. If the information requested does not apply, enter n/a. Refer to the job announcement for duties and requirements of the position. If the position you are applying for requires a valid driver’s license or a Commercial Driver’s License, you must complete the Driving Information section of the Employment Application. According to the Colorado Public Records Act, all information on applications is considered public information.


Posted Apr 3, 2014