Director, South Orange Public Library, South Orange
Wednesday, November 18, 2020 09:12 AM
Founded in 1864, the South Orange Public Library (SOPL) serves a diverse community by providing access to information, offering physical space to freely congregate and exchange ideas, and celebrating literacy, cultural growth, and local history. To build upon and extend that 156-year legacy, the Library seeks a Director with a proven track record of generating diverse engagement within the community, creating financial support, and undertaking ambitious and innovative programming.

The Library Director is responsible for promoting the mission and vision of SOPL in close collaboration with the organization’s Board of Trustees. The director will help define its strategic direction, ensuring that resources are in place to accomplish all goals, recruiting and retaining staff, keeping teams motivated and capable of exceeding expectations, and building the kind of nonprofit culture which supports the SOPL mission.
This is an exciting opportunity for somebody looking to lead efforts to strengthen the library’s services and reputation. The organization is looking for someone who can open doors of collaboration, connect with our local community and village government, and foster donor relationships. This role will grow the organization to greatly expand and enhance its impact in the South Orange community.

As the SOPL prepares to develop a new and improved library facility - a project that will leave a legacy for decades - it seeks a high energy, enthusiastic, innovative, and creative Director with vision, superb communication skills, a strong public service orientation and the ability to engage the community in committing to a project of this magnitude.
Position Description
As the chief executive officer of the Library, the Director provides strategic, visionary, and inspirational leadership. The Director is responsible for operating the library, including:
  • Selecting and managing staff and volunteers;
  • Ensuring that all activities, projects and services are produced and carried out in an effective, professional and timely manner;
  • Cultivating key partnerships and donor relationships;
  • Serving as the face and voice of the SOPL;
  • Developing and managing the budget;
  • Providing for the maintenance and upkeep of the physical plant; and
  • Working closely with the Village of South Orange.
The Director develops and implements annual and longer-term strategic plans to grow and strengthen the organization’s ability to meet its mission and objectives. The Director sets strategy and vision, builds and sustains the SOPL culture, leads the professional staff, and generates and allocates resources appropriately. Working with the Board, the Director sets important goals for the organization and works systematically to meet them.

The Director reports to the Board of Trustees and actively participates in the meetings of the Board. With the Board of Trustees, the Director is accountable for the financial health of the organization, actively promoting SOPL to build its financial reserves and community goodwill.

The Director plays the formative role in building the culture of SOPL around service, accountability, and results, ensuring that SOPL staff find a solid professional home with ample opportunities for advancement and professional growth. The Director will provide for effective training and mentoring of staff, interns, and volunteers, building organizational capacity.

The Director is also responsible for providing a library perspective for a significant planned expansion of the SOPL facility. State and local government grants will be supplemented by other support, and the Director must communicate a vision of an enhanced library.

The ideal candidate must embrace current technology, be aware of future library and media trends, and possess excellent communication and interpersonal skills, both verbal and written. The Director must be able to analyze business and professional journals, financial reports, and legal documents. Equally, the Director will be expected to demonstrate sensitivity responding to and reaching out to members of the community, staff, and the Library Board of Trustees.
Specific Duties
Responsible for overseeing the administration, programs, and strategic plan of the organization, the Director provides a library perspective in matters of governance, mission and strategy, financial planning, operations and development. Core duties include:
1) Governance: The Director works collaboratively with the Board of Trustees to fulfill the organization’s mission, including:
  • Leading SOPL in a manner that supports and guides the organization’s mission as defined by the Board of Trustees.
  • Communicating effectively and transparently with the Board, providing all information necessary for the Board to function properly and to make informed decisions.
  • Working with the Board of Trustees to cultivate board involvement, enhance board recruitment and training, and establish succession planning.
  • Working closely with the Board of Trustees on policy decisions and effectiveness and visibility of the organization, administering Board policies.
  • Preparing monthly reports of library business and summaries of library service activities for the Board.
  • Providing staff support to the Board by assisting with and attending meetings.
  • Providing professional expertise and guidance to the Board including but not limited to: presenting information on pertinent legislation from local, state, and federal agencies; introducing best practices in nonprofit management; and presenting trends in library technology, collection development, funding, and management.
2) Organization Mission and Strategy: The Director works with board and staff to ensure that the mission is fulfilled through programs, strategic planning, and community outreach, with responsibilities that include:
  • Leading strategic planning with the Board to ensure that SOPL can successfully fulfill its mission, implementing programs that carry out the organization’s mission.
  • Enhancing SOPL’s image by being active and visible in the community, working closely with other professional, civic, and private organizations while serving as SOPL’s primary spokesperson to the organization’s constituents, the media, and the general public.
  • Enhancing SOPL’s mission by establishing and maintaining fruitful relationships with the Village of South Orange, governmental agencies, and political representatives
  • Share SOPL’s vision and services through public presentations, interaction with local media, and participation in relevant business events, conferences, and gatherings.
  • Keeping SOPL visible with philanthropic organizations, maintaining project partnerships with other library groups and related nonprofit organizations.
  • Disseminating information via the SOPL website and other means, increasing the organization’s social media presence on other platforms.
3) Financial Performance and Viability: The Director develops resources sufficient to ensure the financial health of the organization, including:
  • Timely submission to the Board of a proposed annual budget and monthly financial statements that accurately reflect the financial condition of the organization.
  • Fiscal management that operates within the approved budget, ensures maximum resource utilization, and maintains a positive financial position.
  • Compliance with relevant state and federal laws, regulations, and standard accounting procedures.
4) Operations: The Director ensures that the operations of the organization are appropriate, including:
  • Hiring and retaining competent, qualified staff.
  • Ensuring the effective administration of SOPL’s internal operations, including collection maintenance and development
  • Signing all notes, agreements, and other instruments made and entered into and on behalf of the organization.
  • Oversight of marketing and communications efforts, maintenance and upkeep of the physical plant, and maintaining and updating technology services for staff and constituent use.
5) Development: The Director oversees efforts involved in raising funds for the organization, with responsibilities that include:
  • Fostering a strong relationship with leaders of the Village of South Orange.
  • Working closely with state and town government officials relative to library funding.
  • Identifying, cultivating, and pursuing funding sources, including corporate, individual, foundation and government funding.
  • Fundraising and developing other revenues necessary to support SOPL’s mission., including oversight of annual fund-raising efforts.
  • Soliciting major gift acquisitions, identifying and pursuing of grants, and leading a major capital campaign to rebuild the current library facility.
Desired Attributes
The ideal candidate for this position will embody many, if not all, of the following characteristics:
  • Bring an enthusiastic and inspirational perspective, demonstrate a positive attitude and a passion for serving in our community, an affinity for building relationships, and a willingness to enhance the connection between the Library and its constituents
  • Demonstrate strong motivational and staff leadership abilities
  • Work well with others, with a sense of humor, integrity, and an impeccable work ethic
  • Demonstrated experience leading and managing change, accompanied by an ability to advocate for the Library with external stakeholders
  • Have excellent communication and presentation skills, with public speaking experience
  • Bring previous non-profit management experience including familiarity with strategic planning, budget development and oversight, administration, fundraising and grant management, and working with a Board of Trustees
  • Have knowledge of state and federal grant processes, experience with grant-writing, awareness of local government procedures in New Jersey, experience conducting public education for all age groups, and awareness of current and emerging technologies designed for libraries
Preferred Background
  • Bachelor's degree and master’s degree, or other advanced degree, in Library Science, Nonprofit Management, or Business Administration.
  • Four years of previous work experience in a library administrative supervisory capacity, or significant top-level supervisory responsibility in managing a successful nonprofit organization.

To Apply: Send resume to [email protected] by December 31, 2020.