Library Director

Library Directors have the main leadership role in the library. Typical duties include preparing and overseeing the budget, developing employment and service policies, strategic planning, public and governmental relations, reporting to the governing board or official, ensuring compliance with laws, fundraising, hiring, motivating and firing staff, and more.

Library Directors' duties and compensation can vary greatly depending on the size of the library.   In a small library the director may handle everything from locking the doors to paying the bills. In a large library the director may manage hundreds of employees in many different departments.  The director of a small rural library can literally be the only regularly scheduled employee with a salary a low as $38,000;  directors of a large urban libraries or academic libraries may have salaries as high as $229,000.

Core: Leadership, Infrastructure, Futures is the national association that advances the profession of librarians and information providers in central roles of leadership and management, metadata and collections, and technology.


In addition to the basic educational requirements needed for a career as a librarian, candidates for administrative positions in libraries should have a demonstrated interest in professional development through attending workshops, conferences and participation in continuing education. Some states have certification programs with specific requirements for library administrators.
A partial list of state certification programs is available at the ALA-Allied Professional Association (ALA-APA) website.


In addition to the skills needed as a librarian, a library manager employs management techniques effectively in directing, planning, organizing, staffing, coordinating, budgeting, and evaluating the library's operation.


Ten years of experience as a librarian with five years of managerial or administrative experience is typical, although requirements vary greatly by size of library and responsibilities of the job.

Read More About It

The Accidental Library Manager by Rachel Singer Gordon (2005)


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