Library Management Job Advertisement Analysis

I recently had an assignment to look over several different job advertisements to consider what employers are really looking for when it comes to management positions in libraries: Here’s what I’ve discovered which could be helpful to all those unemployed librarians out there 🙂


Analyzing job advertisements in library management helps one build understanding of the job market and how personal/professional experience relates to the jobs available.  The author has discovered ten job advertisements and has analyzed the different requirements and preferred requirements while relating both professional and personal experience to determine what kinds of positions are available as well as discover what kinds of skills are favorable in the Library Management field.


The data for the job advertisement charts came from ten job descriptions collected from ALA Job List (  These ads referred specifically to library management and included a range of different jobs such as “Library Director,” and “Head of Public Services.”  To get a full idea of different job requirements through all of library management positions, it was necessary to find a multitude of different kinds of jobs related to management/administration.

Table 1: Required Qualifications

Required Qualifications %
ALA-Accredited Master’s Degree in MLS or equivalent 100
Significant supervisory and management experience (5-8yrs) in academic libraries 100
Excellent interpersonal and communication skills 100
Ability to complete projects on time and on budget and report on status and progress 100
Success in managing staff and resources (Ability to lead,mentor, and motivate staff) 80
Ability to work successfully in a collaborative environment 70
Thorough understanding of issues facing academic libraries 40
Strong analytical and decision-making skills 40
Ability to work effectively with diverse employee and user communities 30
Excellent computer skills with experience using word processing, spreadsheet, database, presentation and advanced graphics software 30
Experience with training and supporting faculty in instructional needs. 30
Subject expertise to serve as liaison for one or more academic disciplines, selecting materials, providing instruction, and reference services; 20
Successful completion of standard background checks including but not limited to: social security verification, education verification, national criminal background checks, motor vehicle checks and credit history 10
2nd Master’s Degree 10
Experience managing a budget of at least $500,000 10
Ability to develop and maintain favorable external and internal partnerships with the various constituencies of VCUQatar. 10
Demonstrated understanding of teaching and research in the sciences and engineering; 10
Substantial accomplishments in relevant scholarship and service. 10

Table 2: Preferred Qualifications

Preferred Qualifications %
Demonstrated understanding of digital library concepts and standards and electronic resources acquisitions and management (digital library/tech services) 40
Proficiency with automated library systems for technical services (EBSCO and OCLC) 30
Additional Master’s Degree or Ph.D. 20
Knowledge of another language 20
International work experience 10
Proven success with fundraising and grants development management 10
demonstrated knowledge of emerging technologies and related research; these include but are not limited to: Blacklight; Fedora/DuraSpace; Evergreen’ Koha; other Open Source and proprietary systems related to online library environments 10
demonstrated experience in the implementation of Open Source software and tools; these tools include, but are not limited to: Enterprise Java development; Ruby scripting language or equivalent; Ruby on Rails; Solr; Tomcat Unix, Linux, AIX preferred 10

Educational and Professional Experience

I graduated with my Bachelor’s Degree in English and a minor in Latin in May 2009 from Millersville University.  To further pursue my interest in librarianship, I am currently enrolled in Clarion University’s online MLS program and am graduating December, 2010.  With the knowledge that I have gained through the experience of working in an academic setting, I have acquired many of the qualifications many of the above job advertisements seek.

·        Access Services: As a Student Supervisor III, I supervised all students; issued warnings, provided training sessions, and oversaw all aspects of student operations including circulation, reserve, duplication, stack maintenance, and interlibrary loan.  Through these services, I have become extremely knowledgeable in ARES, Odyssey, OCLC, Ariel, Adobe, Voyager, RapidILL, ILLiad, and Access PA.  I also work closely with the supervisors of these departments while providing access to materials for students, faculty, and staff.

·        Tutorials and Instruction: As a Student Supervisor III and Outreach Support Intern, I have had multiple opportunities to create tutorials for such services as Duplication, E-Reserve, and ILL which are used in many library instruction sessions.  I have also observed library instructional sessions in order to familiarize myself with these methods of teaching.

·        Reference: As the Outreach Support Intern, I have had the opportunity to spend many hours at the Reference Desk shadowing a librarian and aiding students and faculty in finding and utilizing library materials.

·        Relevant Course-Work:  Cataloging, Collection Development, Government Documents, Business Reference, Library Management, Research Methods.

During my time at Millersville, I have had the opportunity to work on a variety of projects as well as working independently, being a team leader, and working closely with staff and faculty.  My organization and communication skills have been defining factors in my success on every project I am a part of.

Currently, I am working as a collection agent building communication and interpersonal skills as I finish my MSLS degree.  If asked how I might fill the gap (of a little over a year) in the academic setting, I would explain that my time working at Millersville ended because I was no longer a student.  I began working at Apex Asset Management collecting medical debt where I deal directly with consumers, attorneys, and others among a diverse working environment where I gained the knowledge and skills of working in a high-stress, fast-paced environment utilizing my interpersonal skills to facilitate payments.


Interestingly enough, much was learned from the different job ads.  Every ad required a MLS or equivalent from an ALA-Accredited university.  Other than that, the most frequently looked for skill was experience.  Every ad asked for at least 5 years experience ranging all the way to 8 years.  As graduation approaches, I have thought about my experience and how it relates to the library-world.  Many jobs, aside from library management, require roughly 5 years experience.  Luckily, as a student worker and intern, I have gained much of the experience that is required (not just preferred).


Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.  (2010, July 27).  Lehigh University, Director of LTS             Administration & Planning [Online job description].  Retrieved from http://  

Charlottesville, Virginia.  (2010, July 27).  University of Virginia, Director, Online Library

Environment [Online job description].  Retrieved from


Columbia, Maryland.  (2010, July 27).  Howard Community College, Director [Online job description].  Retrieved from

Doha, Qatar.  (2010, July 27).  Virginia Commonweath University School of the Arts,             Director [Online job description].  Retrieved from            modules/jobseeker/controller.cfm?scr=jobdetail&jobid=15327

Ferrum, Virginia.  (2010, July 27).  Ferrum College, Head of Library Public Services             [Online job description].  Retrieved from            jobseeker/controller.cfm?scr=jobdetail&jobid=15265

Gainesville, Florida.  (2010, July 27).  University of Florida, Chair: Humanities and             Soecial Sciences Library [Online job description].  Retrieved from http://  

Hobbs, New Mexico.  (2010, July 27).  New Mexico Junior College, Director of Library             Services[Online job description].  Retrieved from            jobs/            currentopenings.aspx?JobID=497

Houston, Texas.  (2010, July 27).  University of Houston, Associate Dean for Access             and Technical Services [Online job description].  Retrieved from http://  

Rochester, New York.  (2010, July 27).  University of Rochester, Director, Science and             Engineering Libraries [Online job description].  Retrieved from   

Wilmington, North Carolina.  (2010, July 27).  University of North Carolina Wilmington,             Assoc. Univ. Lib. For Technical & Collection Management Services/Lecturer             [Online job description].  Retrieved from

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