Executive Director - Massachusetts Library System, Inc.

Location: USA - MA - Boston

Executive Director Position Description

The Massachusetts Library System (MLS) seeks an experienced leader, strategic thinker, creative problem solver, and enthusiastic library advocate to guide the development and implementation of statewide services to more than 1,600 multi-type libraries throughout Massachusetts.This vacancy was created by the retirement of the founding Executive Director.

The Massachusetts Library System operates out of two offices, in Marlborough and Northampton, MA.

MLS seeks a leader with a strong teamwork orientation and a commitment to customer service and collaboration. Other skills important to this position include consortium library experience, understanding of libraries and their work, developing staff, fiscal and budget management, advocacy, developing and nurturing partnerships, vendor and partner contract negotiation, and excellent communications skills.  This is a professional position with administrative and supervisory responsibilities reporting to the MLS Executive Board.  


  • Provide organizational leadership, management, planning, program evaluation, and strategic direction to fulfill the MLS Mission and provide high-quality services to member libraries.
  • Support, develop, and maintain a strong and cohesive MLS Executive Board. Serve as an ex officio member of the MLS Executive Board and all committees.
  • Lead, coach, and sustain a leadership team to strive for organizational excellence.
  • Employ partnerships, efficiency solutions, and other opportunities, e.g., grant funding and revenue generation, to enhance capacity.
  • Ensure compliance with all requirements as a recipient of state funding as well as all local, state, and federal legal requirements.
  • Work with the MLS Executive Board, MLS leadership team and staff, committees, members, auditor, legal counsel, Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners, automated networks, vendors/contractors, professional associations, elected officials, and others.
  • Collaborate with MLS members to develop and strengthen relationships within the MLS community. Engage in strategic advocacy for libraries.
  • Develop budgets and maintain strong financial practices.
  • Maintain working knowledge of significant developments and trends in the field.

Required Qualifications:

  • Education: Master's degree in library and/or information science from an institution accredited by the American Library Association or equivalent master’s degree.
  • Experience: Minimum of five to eight years of relevant leadership experience in libraries, library services, or library systems, with four to five years of supervisory experience.
  • Essential attributes and skills include: demonstrated leadership skills; informed understanding of services and programming needs for all types of libraries; ability to respond to the needs of diverse library environments; excellent listening and communication skills; substantial fiscal and resource management experience; fundraising and grant writing; ability to lead and develop a diverse workforce; demonstrated dedication to innovation; short and long range planning skills; thorough knowledge of current trends and best practices for library service.
  • High level of competence in legislative processes, consensus building, and advocacy.
  • The ability to develop and communicate a strategic vision for MLS, as well as the ability to design and implement solutions to day-to-day problems. A strong focus on members and their needs.

Job Requirements:

  • The position requires light to moderate physical effort demanded when performing functions under typical office and computer use conditions. Light to moderate physical effort and stamina required for frequent travel and transport of work related materials and equipment to meeting and training sites. The successful candidate must be able to lift up to 50 pounds with or without reasonable accommodation.
  • Will work from either MLS office (Marlborough or Northampton) as well as commute throughout the state with the option of telecommuting from home when connectivity and equipment standards are met.
  • Must possess a valid Motor Vehicle Operator's License valid for use in Massachusetts and provide the means of transportation to fulfill job duties throughout Massachusetts and attend relevant meetings.
  • Candidates must be eligible for permanent employment in the United States, and appointments are subject to a criminal background check.

Massachusetts libraries are champions in resource sharing with a long history of strong collaboration. The MLS is a key player among the stakeholders who advocate for and strive to develop libraries and library services in the Commonwealth. The Executive Director will lead a talented team and work closely with the Executive Board and member libraries to nurture a statewide library community.

Compensation: Salary begins at $118,500, based on experience.

This position is exempt from the wage and overtime provisions of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act.

MLS full-time staff members are eligible for a benefits package that includes generous vacation and sick leave accrual; health insurance; dental insurance; disability and life insurance; and employer contributions to a defined contribution plan and an optional voluntary contribution plan through TIAA. (MLS is a private, non-profit organization and does not participate in any public retirement plan.)



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