The Illinois Library Association (ILA) is the voice for Illinois libraries and the millions who depend on them. It provides leadership for the development, promotion, and improvement of library services in Illinois and for the library community in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all. This access is essential for an open democratic society, an informed electorate, and the advancement of knowledge for all people. ILA’s primary goals are:
Advocating for the Public Interest
Promoting Excellence and Innovation
Managing the Present to Prepare for the Future
The Illinois Library Association (ILA) is indispensable in leading efforts in library advocacy and collaboration, and serving as a springboard to innovation and excellence in library services. In service of these priorities, ILA will use its resources wisely and maintain a flexible structure that promotes the diverse interests and broad participation of members and units.
More than 2,500 personal and 500 institutional members, made up of public, academic, school, and special libraries as well as librarians, library assistants, trustees, students, and library vendors comprise the ILA membership. Founded in 1896, the ILA has a budget in excess of $3 million and is the third largest state library association and a chapter of the American Library Association. Leadership is provided by an Executive Director, reporting to an elected Executive Board, each Board member serving a three-year term. Members participate through an appointed committee structure and forums that are open to all members. A staff of four is headquartered in downtown Chicago, and the Association’s work is accomplished through the team and outsourced contractors.
The Qualified Candidate
Illinois Library Association seeks a mission-driven executive leader with strong programmatic, interpersonal, management skills. The new Executive Director will hold a deep commitment to the library profession’s foundation and ethics and bring experience in a membership association governed by volunteers. Strong candidates will have progressive experience leading a complex, statewide, or multisite nonprofit or association with a significant advocacy component. The successful candidate will continue and build new external financial partnerships, grow membership, practice geographical outreach and, as a partner to the Executive Board, lead the association into the future. The ILA office is currently in Chicago.
The Executive Director will be a goal-oriented, accomplished leader who is passionate and committed to the value of public libraries which provide free and equal access to information, as well as the diverse offerings of academic, school and special libraries which provide invaluable intellectual freedom opportunities to Illinois stakeholders. S/he is visionary, with the ability to develop strong external partnerships. Familiarity with the types of mission-focused programs and services offered by ILA is important, and a familiarity with issues of importance to the members who make up the ILA is essential.
A minimum of 7 years of progressive experience in leadership and management, with documented ability to manage staff and lead teams and bring cross-cultural competencies.
Proven ability to build strong external relationships with a variety of volunteers, public leadership, partner organizations and other stakeholders.
Association leadership experience in an institutional based membership association is preferred.
Track record in financial management, stewardship, and developing strategies to successfully increase revenue, including experience in managing an effective philanthropic program.
Proven success in building strong and productive work teams with a focus on mentoring and nurturing staff development.
Experience in a state-wide or multi-geographic organization where the leader must be “present” at various meetings and events.
Strong analytic and strategic-thinking skills, with demonstrated ability to create, implement and monitor complex plans, and translate those plans into goals and concrete strategies.
An understanding of both traditional and emerging trends in how libraries serve their communities is preferred.
Career track record that shows stability with an organization and capacity to develop and nurture relationships culminating in overall success.
Library leadership experience is preferred.
BA/BS degree required; MLS, MBA or related advanced degree(s) strongly preferred.
This position offers a competitive salary with strong benefits. All inquiries will be held in strict confidence.
Illinois Library Association is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, gender, religion, age, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin, disability, marital status, veteran status, or any other occupationally irrelevant criteria.
A professional membership organization that represents Illinois libraries and the millions who depend on them. Founded in 1896, it is the third largest state library association and a chapter of the American Library Association.