Director of Central Library Services-St. Louis Public Library (MO)
Be the advocate, catalyst and curator for the premier cultural destination in downtown St. Louis—the recognized center of the arts, culture and research for the City and region—The Central Library! The St. Louis Public Library seeks an enthusiastic, innovative, and engaged leader for Central Library services to advance our primary mission as a progressive and customer-centered public library providing vital services to the people of St. Louis. As part of a three-member administrative team, the Director of Central Services (DCS) reports to the Chief Public Services Officer and works in tandem with the Director of Neighborhood Services—these three positions are responsible for providing excellent, effective, and efficient library services to our customers--working closely with the Library’s CEO and function as key members of the Library’s administrative team to realize the Library’s Strategic Plan.
St. Louis Public Library (SLPL) is a true urban library and independent political subdivision of the state of Missouri, representing the historic center of the St. Louis region—the City of St. Louis. With an increasingly diverse population of 310,000 (at the core of a metropolitan population of 2.85 million), St. Louis has world-class cultural and recreational assets, but is also challenged with pockets of deep urban poverty and decline, high illiteracy rates, and low public education attainment, often existing in close proximity to great wealth and privilege. The Library is a vital bridge between those worlds. With its roots in the mid-1800s, St. Louis Public Library has a long history of innovation and service to this community, a large and varied collection, and a diverse staff of 400. Our technology is a major resource throughout the City and beyond, and the Library makes an enormous annual investment in technology to provide state-of-the-art services. The Library operates 17 locations in a relatively small city of 61 square miles—and they range from magnificent Central Library--one of the world’s great public libraries—to regional and neighborhood libraries that vary in size and design but are centerpieces in their communities. St. Louis was an early, passionate supporter of library services to children, and that remains a core value and mission. All St. Louis residents live within 1.7 miles of a library. With a 2020 budget of $28 million, the Library enjoys the support of an active and influential Foundation underwriting many programs and services.
Director of Central Services Responsibilities. Central Library is at the heart of the St. Louis Public Library system. An architectural masterpiece by renowned architect Cass Gilbert, renovated and restored during a major three-year construction project costing $70 , the nationally award-winning result reopened to the public in 2012. Today’s Central Library offers rich historical and digital resources as well as attractive popular collections and services. Central Library itself houses over 2.9 million items, and the DCS is also responsible for a remote storage facility located a few blocks from Central Library that houses an additional two million items. The DCS supervises a motivated staff of 109, including nine librarians and nine managers—and will be responsible for not only managing but motivating and developing this staff. This position offers the chance to help grow and develop new visions for public librarianship from a strong tradition and extraordinary history. The Library is looking for someone who wants to be part of and help create a strong culture of collegiality and partnership, and who believes a public library can only be truly excellent when its entire staff is proud of their mission and performance and enjoys their work. For additional perspective on the position, the Library, and the area, see the complete Position Profile and SLPL Links.
Qualifications. Minimum qualifications include a master’s degree in Library Science from an ALA accredited program (or its equivalent in education and/or experience) and three or more years of positive and successful experience managing in a museum or a multiple-location library system, coordinating and balancing library operations, assuring excellence and uniformity of service. Additional desired skills and experience include: a high level of experience in staff development and team-building; a history of motivating high performance, implementing fair standards and resources, and clear evaluation of staff; knowledge of how to draw in new users, particularly in an urban setting; experience in strategic institutional planning and project management; the ability to plan and communicate decisions clearly; to know when consensus is beneficial and when to drive decisions; familiarity with fiscal management and budgeting; knowledge of trends, best practices, and technology innovations in library services: and excellent communication, writing, and speaking skills.
Compensation. The hiring salary range is $95,000 - $115,000 (with placement dependent upon experience and qualifications) with an attractive benefits package—including potential relocation assistance.