Monday, November 12, 2012

Library Director – Whatcom County (WA) Library System

Participate in an engaged community where curiosity is cultivated, literacy flourishes and democratic ideals thrive. The Board of Trustees of the Whatcom County Library System seeks a visionary director—creative, innovative and capable of advancing a team environment—to lead the System in providing quality services and programs for this culturally rich, multi-branch system serving 121,030 rural and suburban residents. Perennially recognized by the national media as one of the best places to live in America, the Whatcom County/Bellingham area is a place that truly has something for everyone.  With magnificent natural scenery, skiing and snowboarding at Mt. Baker, hiking, arts and theatre, and charming communities, Whatcom County is a unique area of Washington state that lives up to its “Ski to Sea” reputation.  Located 90 minutes from Seattle and within an hour of Vancouver, British Columbia, the County's northern border with Canada gives it a unique flavor geared to cross-border shopping and recreation.

Whatcom County Library System,, is a rural library district established in 1944 to provide public library service to all Whatcom County residents outside the City of Bellingham.  Governed by a five-member Board of Trustees appointed by the Whatcom County Council, the Board has policy, planning, budget and decision-making authority for this independent library system.  WCLS operates its nine community branch libraries—each boasting its own individual character--in partnership with the communities they serve.  A new branch is planned for 2013, and bookmobile service extends to five other county communities.  With a $7 million annual budget and approximately 160 staff (90 FTEs), library facilities loaned 1.8 million items during 2011. A unique interlocal agreement with Bellingham Public Library, which serves residents of the City of Bellingham, provides for mutual extension of borrowing privileges and services via a shared ILS and cooperative distribution. The Whatcom Libraries Collaborate/One Card, One Community project was established in 2010 to enable expansion of access to resources from WCLS, Bellingham Public Library, and four county academic libraries by all of the participants’ patrons. With a successful Foundation, active Friends organizations, planned facilities expansions in multiple branches, and a staff and organizational culture dedicated to transparency, learning and growth, WCLS has the elements in place to achieve even greater levels of service excellence in the coming decade. Additional information on WCLS and the communities of Whatcom County can be found at WCLS Links,

Responsibilities. The Library Director reports to a five-member volunteer Board of Trustees and provides system-wide strategic, visionary and inspirational leadership—directing all service programs and operations toward achieving the System’s vision, mission, goals and strategic initiatives.  In partnership with managerial staff, the Director carries out specific functions—leadership, Board support, financial management, personnel management, internal and external relationship building, and community engagement—as outlined in the job description. 

Qualifications. A Master’s Degree in Library Science; ability to obtain and hold a State of Washington Librarian Certification and a valid Washington driver’s license; and a minimum of seven years of relevant experience and leadership. Essential knowledge, skills and abilities include: knowledge of the principles, practices and procedures of library administrative management; knowledge of contemporary best practices for libraries; knowledge of budget preparation, maintenance and forecasting; knowledge of electronic resources and technology; excellent interpersonal and communication/listening skills; collaboration and consensus building skills; and skill in leading a diverse team of library professionals in setting and achieving  goals.  See the official Executive Director Job Description,, for a complete list of the essential functions, knowledge, skills and abilities. Proven success working effectively as director with a governing board, and success working in a union environment, are valuable desired experiences.  

Compensation.  A starting salary range of $100,000-115,000 (with placement dependent on experience and qualifications) and an attractive benefits package.

For further information, contact Bradbury Associates/Gossage Sager Associates,, via email or phone.  Apply via email with a meaningful cover letter and your resume as Word or pdf attachments to or  The position closes December 30, 2012.

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