BUILDING A COMMUNITY OF READERS. The Kansas City Public Library Board of Trustees seeks a Chief Executive who will lead the institution, championing a vision for the Library that promotes and advances its vital connections and continues to serve as an integral part of the fabric of the community. From its nationally renowned public programming, innovative outreach, and local, regional and national leadership in digital literacy, the award-winning Kansas City Public Library has helped redefine the role of public libraries. Governed by a nine-member Board of Trustees, the Library is an independent urban public library district serving 213,000 residents of the City’s central core, part of the neighboring City of Independence, and the City of Sugar Creek. Working from 10 library locations (plus a digital branch and an active outreach program), the Chief Executive will grow KCPL’s commitment to a diverse, multicultural, and engaged community of patrons and partners pursuing the Library’s 2020 Strategic Goals. Specific opportunities include: developing and implementing the strategic plan; completing immediate capital construction projects; fundraising to complete a capital development plan; recruiting and retaining staff at all levels that mirror the communities served; and rebuilding the development staff and infrastructure. Among the Library’s resources are a highly proficient staff of 260 (215 FTEs), a $24.5 million annual budget—plus support from the Friends of the Library and gift, grant and endowment sources. Most importantly, there is the goodwill of a community that loves its Library and provided a powerful community-wide endorsement when voters gave an 83% approval to the Library’s operating 2018 levy ballot measure.
Kansas City sits on Missouri's western edge—and the Kansas City Public Library District is the heart of this metropolitan area— 14 counties with a population of 2.34 million. The Metro area is known for its quality of entertainment and cultural amenities, including barbecue, jazz heritage, fountains, art, educational facilities and professional sports teams (the 2020 Super Bowl LIV champion Kansas City Chiefs and the 2015 World Series champion Kansas City Royals). Downtown is Kansas City's historic center and is home to the City's original town site, business districts, residential neighborhoods, performance venues and the Central Library. Other attractions include the American Jazz Museum which shares a building with the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in the historic 18th & Vine Jazz District, the renovated Union Station, and Liberty Memorial—a National WWI museum and memorial. The Midtown/Plaza neighborhoods offer many cultural attractions (Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art and the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art), shopping and entertainment areas, renown medical centers, universities and research facilities (University of Missouri–Kansas City, Rockhurst University, Kansas City Art Institute, Stowers Institute for Medical Research, and Midwest Research Institute) and the metro area's most densely populated neighborhoods. The surrounding areas contain many municipalities, both small and large, enhancing the Metro Area’s amenities, business presence, and quality of life for metro residents. Kansas City is a city of neighborhoods, fountains, parks and boulevards—a place you will be eager to call home. For more about the Chief Executive position, the Library District, and the Metro area and its attractions and amenities see Kansas City Links.
Responsibilities. Under the direction of the Library Board of Trustees, the Chief Executive is responsible for the planning, directing, managing and overseeing all activities and operations of the Library. This position works closely with the Library Board and staff to establish and ensure that core values are upheld and excellent library service is met while achieving the Library’s longer term strategic goals. The Chief Executive also provides library advocacy and community outreach through public relations strategies, frequent contact with news media, preparation and delivery of presentations to community groups on library issues and needs, interaction with the Friends of the Library and private donors, and participation in community and professional activities and boards. The Chief Executive is a role model within the organization and must maintain a positive attitude, an innovative mindset and open communication and interaction with the staff and community.
Qualifications. Any combination of experience and training that will provide the required knowledge and abilities will qualify. A typical path to obtain the knowledge and abilities is (1) an advanced degree in public administration or a related field; (2) three years of supervisory experience at a senior management level in a complex organization; and (3) three years of executive leadership/administrative experience in the operation of a medium to large urban service organization. Alternate education, experience and qualifications may be considered. The successful candidate will also demonstrate visionary leadership skills; excellent interpersonal and communication skills; the ability to build productive relationships and promote collaborative partnerships through civic engagement; be successful in promoting library services to the community; possess comfort and skill in fund raising activities. The board will expect a candidate to have a demonstrated passion for the work of libraries and a thorough knowledge of current trends, technologies and “best practices” for library services.
Compensation. The starting salary range is $175,000 – $200,000, with placement dependent on qualifications. An exceptional benefits package is also offered.
For further information, please visit Bradbury Miller Associates. Apply via email with a meaningful cover letter and resume as Word or PDF attachments to Dan Bradbury. This position will close April 12, 2020.
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