Executive Director – Westport Library – Westport, CT

Transform. Transcend. Deliver. Be the next leader of the preeminent public library in Connecticut. The Board of Trustees of  The Westport Library seeks an experienced, engaged and energetic Executive Director who will build on the Library’s innovative and award-winning programs and patron-centric service to achieve even greater levels of excellence. The Westport Library is a vibrant and welcoming community hub that reflects Westport’s spirit, creativity and entrepreneurship.  Each day, an average of 1,300 patrons of all ages visit the Library to read and research (borrowing nearly 674,000 items last year), attend one of the Library’s 1,600 programs, consult with the Library’s expert reference librarians, use one of the Library’s ten 3-D printers, shop the Library store, meet friends at the Library Café or simply enjoy the camaraderie of being in a dynamic shared space.  In 2013 the Library Journal designated the Westport Library as a “Five-Star Library”, a distinction earned by less than 1% of the nation’s libraries.  The Library was also among the first in the nation to establish a Maker Space, a place for creation, collaboration, innovation and entrepreneurship, and in 2013 the Library was awarded a major IMLS grant to support and enhance its Maker Space programs. The Westport Library has been devoted to enriching the intellectual lives of Westport since 1886. The Westport Library Association is organized in Connecticut as an independent 501(c)(3) organization.  It is supported by a $4.3 million annual Town appropriation and supplemented by an active development effort, as well as grants, fees and earned income, resulting in a $5.6 million annual operating budget. The Library is currently in the “quiet phase” of a Capital Campaign aimed at transforming its physical space to better support the needs of 21st century library users.

Westport is a beautiful coastal Connecticut town located just one hour northeast of New York City. Once an artists’ colony, the town has held strong to its cultural roots while developing into a thriving and engaged community. With a population of approximately 26,500 people, Westport’s small-town atmosphere provides residents with a haven away from the bustle of larger cities, a vibrant downtown area that offers everything from one-of-a-kind boutiques to luxury retail locations and a diverse array of restaurants. Home of a vigorous arts community, Westport offers exhibitions, cultural events and outstanding performances at notable venues such as the Westport Country Playhouse and The Levitt Pavilion.  Westport also boasts a first-rate public school system, excellent private schools, a municipal golf course and an environmental awareness with ventures including the Wakeman Town Farm, the Earthplace Nature and Discovery Center and its own recycling efforts. A wide range of leisure activities and effective and efficient services provided by Town government contribute to a quality of life difficult to find elsewhere.  For more about the Library, the Town and the surrounding communities, see Westport Links.

Responsibilities.  Reporting to the Westport Library Board of Trustees (currently a 20-member body, half of whom are Town Meeting appointees and half of whom are appointed by the Board itself), the Executive Director serves as the leader of the Library and is its primary public representative.  The Executive Director works in partnership with the Board to ensure that the Library fulfills its mission and creates the strategies that will secure its future success, including completing the current Capital Campaign and  refining and implementing the final phase of the strategy for the Library’s Transformation Project. Working under the Board, the Executive Director has a high degree of independence and is responsible for the overall implementation of the Library’s strategic plan and administration of day-to-day operations. The successful candidate will build positive, productive relationships with external stakeholders in the Town government and in the broader community; ensure that the right staff are in the right positions and are meeting and exceeding performance expectations; ensure continued excellence in programs and services; and ensure that the Library continues at the forefront of innovation.

Qualifications. The ideal candidate will have an advanced degree in a relevant field (a Master’s Degree in Library Science is desirable, but not required) and significant relevant work experience, including experience in an executive capacity with a comparable  government, business, museum, higher education or nonprofit enterprise.  Essential attributes and skills include: proven success with development programs and experience with a capital campaign; excellent writing, communication and presentation skills; ability to connect with people and build consensus; intellectual agility and political savvy; an understanding of and dedication to customer service, intellectual freedom and equal access for all; and energy and enthusiasm with a commitment to the needs of a demanding position. Prior experience with a major capital building project is a desirable qualification.

Compensation. The position offers a hiring salary range of $130,000-160,000 (with placement dependent upon experience and qualifications) and an attractive benefits package.

For 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 Dan Bradbury or Jobeth Bradbury. This position closes April 12, 2015.

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