Before hiring a library director, the entire board should have a good grasp of what a public library director does. The library director is the department head of a city service whose responsibilities include:
- Acts as professional / technical advisor to the library board of trustees on policy, finances, planning, library performance, laws effecting libraries.
- Hires and supervises personnel.
- Implements board policy, interprets library policy for the public.
- Administers the library budget.
- Develops the library collection (“collection” is everything the library has on hand for its customers: books, DVDs, CDs, magazines, newspapers, subscriptions to electronic resources, puppets and more).
- Manages library services and programs.
- Directs and provides outreach services to the community.
- Manages and maintains the library facility/building, computer technology, the library’s automation system and other library equipment.
- Represents the library in the community and promotes the library and its services.
- Teaches the community how to access, evaluate and use information resources.
As you can see by the list of responsibilities, hiring a library director is one of the most important duties of the library board.
In small cities with few or no other library staff, the library director serves customers directly and may also:
- Provide pre-school story time to build early literacy skills in young children.
- Help kids find resources to complete school assignments.
- Help readers find a good book.
- Find answers to questions from customers.
- And yes, check out books!
To ensure that the most qualified candidate is hired, it is critical that the library board follow standard hiring procedures as outlined below.