City of Tacoma WA Library Director in Tacoma, Washington

Position Description


The Tacoma Public Library is seeking an experienced and innovative leader to serve as its next director. The successful candidate will be responsible for managing the daily operations of the library, setting the strategic direction of the library in collaboration with the Tacoma Public Library Board of Trustees, and ensuring compliance with applicable laws, rules, and regulations relating to the library.

THE COMMUNITY The Tacoma Public Library includes 8 branches which are located across the City of Tacoma. The library employs 134 people and serves 181,962 cardholders (2016). The City of Tacoma is a mid-sized urban port city of approximately 203,446 citizens. The third largest city in the state of Washington, Tacoma is a diverse, progressive, international city that serves as a gateway to the Pacific Rim and the rest of the world.

Named one of the most livable areas in the country by Partners for Livable Communities, Tacoma's urban core has steadily evolved since the 1990s, propelled by significant developments that include the arrival of the University of Washington Tacoma, State Farm Insurance, the Tacoma Link light rail system, Washington state's highest density of art and history museums, the restored urban waterfront of the Thea Foss Waterway, and the expansions of the Multicare and Franciscan health systems. In addition, a high-tech industry invigorates the region, and Tacoma Public Utilities has invested more than $100 million in 700 miles of fiber to create Tacoma's high-speed communications network.

Tacoma is home to a vibrant, creative community of emerging writers, artists and musicians, photographers, filmmakers, chefs, passionate entrepreneurs and small business owners who add to its colorful commercial landscape, as well as serving as a base for large companies like State Farm Insurance, Columbia Bank, and Key Bank. Moreover, the iconic Tacoma Dome serves as a regional venue for some of the largest names in the entertainment industry.

Drawing families who have invested in the area for its charming neighborhoods and big city amenities, Tacoma is also a magnet for downtown dwellers looking for competitively priced condominiums and apartments with picturesque mountain and water views.

A playground for hikers, runners, bicyclists and maritime enthusiasts, Tacoma bustles with activity at every turn that is further accelerated by the young people attending the University of Washington Tacoma, the University of Puget Sound, and local trade and technical colleges.

Located just 20 minutes away from the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and easily accessible from downtown Seattle and other neighboring cities.

The Tacoma Public Library offers a generous package of employee benefits including:

  • Medical coverage for eligible employees, spouses/domestic partners and dependents, including children up to age 26
  • Vision and Dental coverage for eligible employees
  • Personal time off
  • Paid holidays
  • A great pension plan


  • A Master of Library Science (MLS) or a Master of Library Information Science (MLIS) degree from an accredited library science program.


  • A minimum of eight years' experience planning, coordinating and managing budgets in a public library
  • A minimum of eight years' experience supervising employees in a public library


  • A Washington State Librarian's Certification is required within 60 days of hire
  • A Washington State driver's license, or proof of equivalent mobility, may be required
  • Appointment may be subject to passing a background check

Knowledge & Skills

  • Extensive knowledge of public library organization and practices
  • Extensive knowledge of management theory and practices
  • Ability and skill to plan and administer a balanced budget
  • Ability and skill to plan, direct and coordinate a variety of work programs for a municipal library system
  • Ability and skill to develop and maintain effective working relationships with the community, the Library Board of Trustees, other public officials, and with the library's partners
  • Ability to maintain effective public relations

The successful candidate will have the following competencies:

DECISION QUALITY Make good and timely decisions, synthesize complex and diverse information, and exhibits sound judgment. Maintain an awareness of federal, state and local laws, City ordinances, Library Board resolutions, American Library Association principles, and the policies and procedures of the Tacoma Public Library. Make decisions that move the Library forward. Take responsibility for actions.

CULTIVATES INNOVATION Identify and create new, better and progressive ways for the organization to succeed. Improve operational processes and take the initiative to generate ideas, gather input, and collaborate with a diverse group of stakeholders. Look for ways to improve and promote quality. Display dedication to continuous improvement including streamlining, eliminating duplication, eradicating inefficiencies and enhancing customer service.

DRIVES RESULTS Consistently achieves results, building an organizational culture focused on high performance and alignment around a shared vision and organizational priorities and objectives.

COMMUNICATES EFFECTIVELY Develops and delivers communications for different audiences that is timely, relevant, and accurate and that results in mutual understanding.

STRATEGIC MINDSET AND LEADERSHIP Inspire and motivate others to perform well and self-actualize, accept feedback from others. Model the highest level of integrity, accountability, professionalism, adaptability and commitment to public service. Looks forward and plans ahead with clear intentions and purposeful actions, interested in both the short and long term, and the details and the Library's Vision.

ORGANIZATIONAL SAVVY Maneuvers comfortably through complex organizational structures, policies, processes, and dynamics involving a diverse group of community partners, citizens, employees, elected and appointed officials, and the community we are called to serve. Knowledge of public administration principles, with particular emphasis on municipal public library administration is highly desired. Ability to engage and utilize Board of Trustees in a way that supports organizational short and long term well-being.

INSTILLS TRUST Gains the confidence and trust of others through honesty, integrity, and authenticity, and by building and maintaining effective relationships.

Selection Process & Supplemental Information

Interested individuals should apply online and attach a detailed resume and cover letter describing your experience, training, and expertise as it relates to the responsibilities of this position. *Applicants who have the strongest backgrounds related to the responsibilities of this position may be invited to participate in an interview. _For additional information please click the following link:*_Library Director brochure.

Communication from the City of Tacoma regarding the application process for the Tacoma Public Library: We primarily communicate via e-mail during the application process. E-mails from and/or must be placed on your safe domain list to ensure that you receive notifications in a timely manner. As a precaution, you may also want to check your junk e-mail folders.

The online application system requires you to enter a substantial amount of information. Be prepared to spend at least an hour entering information. In order for your application materials to be considered, all information must be submitted by the closing date and time listed on this job announcement.

For assistance with the NEOGOV application process, questions regarding this job announcement, or if you are experiencing complications while applying, please contact the Human Resources office at (253) 591.5400 by 4:00 pm of the closing date of the job announcement. This will allow us to assist you before the job announcement closes.

Salary: $110,032.00 - $141,086.41 Annually

Location: Tacoma, WA

Job Type: Non-Classified

Department: Library

Job Number: 9042 LI-17

Closing: 8/25/2017 5:00 PM Pacific

Agency: City of Tacoma

Address: Human Resources Department 747 Market Street Tacoma, Washington, 98402-3764.

Phone: 253-591-5400