Executive Director

From the ALSC Handbook of Organization: Roles and Responsibilities

Nature of Work

This is responsible work of an advanced managerial nature in the direction of professional program operations of the American Library Association.

An employee of this class provides headquarters direction to one or more association divisions or offices, or other professional work of comparable responsibility. An employee is expected to provide full staff leadership in supervising employees, maintaining program schedules and budget control, evaluating existing programs and implementing approved new programs, installing modifications in programs and procedures, and relating specific program areas to legislative, economic, socio, and technological trends and actions. All positions in this class involve extended contact with committees, officials, and other individuals, both within and outside the membership of the American Library Association, in advancing the goals of the divisions or offices as well as the overall objectives of the association. Work requires a professional library background, involving a variety of experiences of increasing responsibility. Work requires a balanced awareness of short and long-range goals, priorities, methods of implementation, and attitudes and objectives of membership and other parties. The work is subject to general administrative supervision, but requires management creativity, initiative, and follow-up for successful job performance.

Illustrative Examples of Work

Provides overall direction for and reviews the work of the programs or offices within the responsibility of the position; supervises and directly participates in continuing and special duties and assignments; works with division officials, roundtables, and other committees and individuals; coordinates meeting, legislative, publication, research, education, accreditation, consultative, and other activities within areas of concern.

Plans, directs, and evaluates the work of subordinate professional, technical, and clerical employees; redistributes work assignments to meet priorities and work schedules; develops budgets; prepares recommendations for fiscal stability and service effectiveness; administers unit budgets.

Develops short- and long-range plans for the improvement of activities within the areas of functional responsibility.

Analyzes and drafts legislation, statements of policy, and organizational memoranda; prepares papers, delivers addresses, and participates in seminars; coordinates conference and workshop arrangements within areas of responsibility.

Provides liaison with individuals, associations, and agencies outside of the Association in areas of common concern.

Performs related work as required.

Illustrative Allocations

One of more executive directorships or program directorships, Accreditation Officer; Director of Office for Intellectual Freedom; Director of Office for Literacy and Outreach Service; Director of Office for Research and Statistics; Office for Human Resource Development and Recruitment and Associate Director of the Washington Office.

Requirements of Work

Graduation from college or university including a master’s degree in library science; thorough experience of increasing responsibility in library administration, including experience in the areas of functional assignment or related; or any equivalent combination of training and experience which provides the following knowledge, abilities, and skills:

  1. Thorough knowledge of the principles, practices, and techniques of library science.
  2. Thorough knowledge of the principles and practices of the areas of library specialization to which assigned.
  3. Considerable knowledge of American Library Association organization structure, policies, and programs.
  4. Considerable knowledge of the principles and practices of administrative management.
  5. Ability to plan, organize, and direct organizational operations and programs in an association setting.
  6. Ability to evaluate the condition and timing of existing programs, to recommend and establish objectives and priorities, and to direct the installation of new programs.
  7. Ability to adapt and administer the various and oftentimes potentially conflicting interests, viewpoints, financial or time constraints, and resources for program, office, and association well being.
  8. Ability to develop and maintain effective working relationships with other program officials and headquarters employees, association officials and members, and other parties.
  9. Ability to communicate effectively orally and in writing.