Athol Public Library



The Director of the Athol Public Library is a professional position, responsible for management of all aspects of library services in conformity with policies established by the Library Board of Trustees, the regulations of the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners, the bylaws of the Town of Athol, and the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.  The Director is responsible for planning, organizing, staffing, coordinating, reporting, and budgeting of all library services.


The Director serves under the general supervision of the publicly elected Board of Trustees, who develop library policy with the professional advice of the Director.  The Director performs regular duties independently, referring to the Board on policy matters.   The position of Director is a salaried position under contract per M.G.L. 78:34.


1.  Plans and initiates library service programs by assessing community needs, collecting and analyzing community and library data, formulating goals, initiating programs in anticipation of or in response to community needs, and evaluating developments in the library field as they are applicable to local needs.  Formulates policies governing the library and recommends them to the Library Board for approval.

2.  Assesses trends in library service and makes appropriate recommendations to Trustees for changes and/or additions to the library services offered.

3.  Manages and coordinates library staff of full-time and part-time, professional, paraprofessional, clerical, and maintenance staff.  Directly supervises and annually evaluates staff.  Provides leadership in establishing effective working relationships and communication, ensuring high quality public services, encouraging creativity and initiative.  Carries out personnel policies and town wage and classification bylaws.  Recruits, interviews, and recommends to the Board qualified candidates for the positions of Assistant Director and Children’s Librarian.  Recruits, selects, promotes, and terminates all other library personnel.

4.  Evaluates, selects, and orders library materials for adults and young adults, including print and non-print materials or delegates and oversees such processes.  Researches extensive review material and professional publications.  Maintains contact with publishers’ representatives.  Evaluates collection for weeding and discard of materials.  Implements periodic inventory of library collections to determine condition, currency, and use of materials.  Selects materials in accordance with materials selection policy and ALA Bill of Rights.  Supervises maintenance of library collection records and online public computer catalog.

5.  Administers library budget and accounting system, including municipal appropriation, trust funds, state and federal funds, and gifts and donations.  Prepares annual budget request for presentation to the Trustees and Finance Committee. Serves as library’s Chief Procurement Officer.  Determines expenditures to stay within appropriation level.  Coordinates cooperative purchasing with other municipal departments and regional library system.  Actively initiates pursuit of supplemental sources of funding, preparing grant proposals to state agencies, foundations, and other organizations, to fund new or supplemental service needs.  Coordinates with Friends of the Library and other community service and fundraising organizations and activities.  Administers grant funds according to specified guidelines.

6.  Manages library public relations, to promote the library and its services, including issuing publicity releases to local newspapers and radio for specific and general library programs and services.  Addresses community groups and civic organizations.  Initiates or directs production of quarterly Friends of the Library newsletter.

7. Coordinates and analyzes library operations, summarizes developments, issues monthly reports on library services and activities to Library Board.  Attends Board meetings, acts as liaison between Library Board and staff.   Serves as Board of Library Trustees executive secretary, responsible for posting meetings and producing minutes.   Represents the library at meetings of official town boards and committees, local community service boards and organizations, regional and state library agencies, and professional organizations.

8.  Evaluates, implements, and maintains library automation system and various software and hardware associated with technology.  Upgrades components as needed.  Evaluates and introduces new technology as appropriate.  Arranges for or conducts library staff training.

9.  Manages library building to ensure proper maintenance and utilization of library facilities.  Analyzes building needs to recommend improvements to Board of Trustees.  Ensures safe and efficient conditions for staff and public of all ages within the building and grounds.  Plans on-going actions to improve accessibility to library building, materials, and services.  Responds to building emergencies and takes appropriate action.  Ensures servicing of library equipment (from computers to heating and cooling systems) to maintain proper working order.  Contacts and supervises contractors.  Prepares specifications for competitive bidding and recommends vendors to the Board.

     In addition to or in the absence of maintenance employees, responsible routinely for overseeing and arranging for emergency cleanup, snow shoveling, minor repairs.  Requires heavy lifting or arranging for lifting of cartons of books and supplies, and moving and assembly of furniture and equipment.

10.  Plans, directs, and supervises development and preservation of the town library local history
  archives collection, in cooperation with the local historical society and Historical Commission.

11.  Directs staff in maintenance of library borrower records, in order to protect confidentiality of
  records of patron use of library materials, in accordance with local, national, and library policies
  and procedures.

12.  Issues monthly activity and budget reports to the Board of Trustees, Annual Report to Town,
  Annual Report and statistics to Commonwealth of Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners
  for application for state aid incentive grants.

13.  Directs staff and assists library patrons in the use of the library by advising individual readers with
  respect to selection of books and use of the online computer catalog.  Researches and provides
  authoritative answers to reference questions.  Supervises and participates in desk routines. 
  Supervises use of library equipment by patrons.  Devises computer curriculum and training courses
  for the staff and public.


1.  Thorough knowledge of professional library principles, methods, practices, and materials.

2.  Knowledge of local, regional, state, and federal library regulations.

3.  Ability to develop knowledge of community library needs and interests.

4.  Considerable knowledge of methods of library administration and management, including personnel, planning and budget control.

5.  Considerable knowledge of or willingness to learn about up-to-date computer equipment, maintenance and repair techniques, operating systems, programs, and networks.

 6.  Knowledge of supervisory techniques and practices.

7.   Ability to direct the work of professional, paraprofessional, clerical, and maintenance personnel.

8.  Effective skills in oral and written communication for contact with public and staff.

9. Adaptability, initiative, tact, courtesy, and good judgment.



Master’s degree in Library Science from an American Library Association accredited graduate library school, or, meets the eligibility requirements as spelled out by the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners, or, professional Certificate of Librarianship from the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners per M.G.L. 78:22.

Progressively responsible library experience, including five years of full time administrative and supervisory experience, or any equivalent combination of experience and education demonstrating the necessary knowledge, skills, and abilities.

Approved by the Board of Library Trustees 17 March 1999

Revised by the Board of Library Trustees 28 June 2005