Boston, MA | January 30, 2020
The Boston Library Consortium (BLC), one of North America’s most respected and well-known consortia, seeks a collaborative, strategic, proactive and experienced leader to serve as the next Executive Director. This leader partners with consortium libraries to maximize opportunities for resource sharing, professional development, collaboration, and advocacy. This leader has an entrepreneurial spirit and shows a strong commitment to exploring all ideas that are brought to the table. A strong communicator and influencer, the Executive Director will expand the idea of resource sharing beyond the exchange of materials; provide advocacy on behalf of member concerns; represent the BLC in partnerships and meetings with other consortia; and identify and respond to common needs.
About the Boston Library Consortium
Founded in 1970, the Boston Library Consortium is now a vital hub of resource sharing in New England. There are currently nineteen members in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire, including libraries in public and private academic research universities, liberal arts colleges, special research libraries and state libraries. For a full list of members, please visit https://blc.org/members.
A core focus of the BLC is to provide high quality and cost-effective sharing of print, digital and electronic content across the member libraries. Additionally, the BLC provides a forum for a broad range of library practice areas, and acts as an incubator for projects and initiatives significant to academic and research libraries. Member benefits include communities of interest, opportunities for professional development and skills training, participation in digitization projects, collaboration to support free and open access to scholarly materials, and collective engagement in advocacy around issues of importance to the academic and research libraries.
Communities of Interest (COI’s) are the primary forums for collaboration, typically organized around a common practice area or current issue. The COIs may create working groups to initiate projects or provide information to the consortium at large. Students, faculty, and researchers at BLC member libraries have reciprocal borrowing privileges, as well as to access the onsite resources and services of these libraries via the Consortium Card. The consortium also offers BLC Leads, a six-month, cohort-based leadership development program that provides experiences for library professionals to learn with and from seasoned library and higher education leaders as well as each other.
The BLC’s Strategic Directions and Core Values provide a framework for the work of the Consortium and are intended to define, inform, and guide the professional practices of all member libraries. The BLC is committed to the core values of librarianship and to ensuring that these values guide its decision making, words, and actions.
The BLC is staffed by the Executive Director and a Program Officer. Governance of the consortium is provided by the Board of Directors, which includes the dean or director from each BLC member library.
Since 2014, the BLC is the administrative home of the Eastern Academic Scholars’ Trust, or EAST, a collective collections initiative across 69 libraries east of the Mississippi River. EAST’s goal is to preserve the print scholarly record and ensure its availability for scholars, students, and faculty. The initial startup grant was received from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Davis Educational Foundation; EAST is now self-supporting through membership fees from the institutions.
For more information on the Boston Library Consortium, please visit www.blc.org.
The Executive Director of the Boston Library Consortium provides strategic, operational, and programmatic leadership and represents the BLC in regional and national academic, research, and digital library venues. The Executive Director manages strategic initiatives and programs to benefit all member libraries. The Executive Director directs and manages consortium financial and human resources, and plays a critical leadership role in working with the Board in support of its strategic oversight of the consortium.
Specifically, the Executive Director holds responsibility for the BLC in the following areas:
- Follows and researches trends in resource sharing, recommends investigation of new technologies, and ensures attention to best practices within the consortium;
- Oversees core programmatic events and initiatives of the BLC; recommends and spearheads new initiatives in line with the BLC’s mission and strategic direction;
- Provides guidance and support to Communities of Interest, task forces, and other groups within the BLC in carrying out programs and activities;
- Monitors and updates the progress of activities essential to the goals of the consortium;
- Provides a robust set of professional development opportunities for member libraries and seeks ways for expertise to be shared across the consortium; and
- Initiates discussion of ways in which the BLC might serve as an advocate for advancements in open access, shared collections, and other matters of importance for member libraries.
- Provides all necessary support for the BLC Board of Directors and Management Council, including preparation for and oversight of meetings;
- Works with the BLC President and Vice President to initiate annual planning of priorities, goals, and budget;
- Serves as a non-voting member of the Board and Management Council;
- Actively explores opportunities to bring new members into the BLC;
- Seeks to prioritize and incorporate the BLC’s values across operations, initiatives, and activities; and
- Maintains in-depth knowledge and understanding of BLC governance documents, and ensures process and actions are aligned with bylaws and policies.
- Conducts the affairs of and oversees all operational aspects of the organization;
- Oversees design, implementation, and assessment of BLC initiatives;
- Mentors and supervises BLC staff, contracted staff, and other personnel, and arranges for appropriate workspace and technologies;
- Administers all contracts, MOUs, and similar arrangements between the BLC and other organizations and individuals;
- Ensures rigorous administration and oversight of finances and records; allocates resources to the greatest advantage of member libraries, as well as the ongoing health and sustainability of the consortium;
- Works with the member libraries to provide stewardship of the BLC archives;
- Seeks funding opportunities such as grants, and manages those grants through their lifecycle;
- Documents and communicates policies and procedures, and recommends modifications to those that no longer best serve the consortium; and
- Provides the support needed for projects for which the BLC serves as host, up to and including serving as project director as needed.
Communication and Outreach
- Leads efforts to position the BLC as a leading library consortium for the 21st century;
- Provides general oversight of BLC’s public relations;
- Ensures upkeep and innovation in the BLC website, listservs, social media, and other mechanisms for sharing information, collaborating, and advertising;
- Keeps the members informed of opportunities and activities of the BLC, and facilitates communication among BLC members;
- Communicates BLC’s vision and goals within the consortium and to other relevant groups;
- Ensures appropriate publicity for events and activities;
- Represents the BLC at local, state, regional, and national events; occasionally presents and publishes about noteworthy accomplishments; and
- Maintains relationships with local, state, regional, and other consortium leaders in order to identify opportunities for collaborations, and to learn about best practices and model programs worthy of consideration in the BLC.
The Executive Director will be a focused, self-motivated individual who is deeply invested in librarianship and education with a commitment to creating an environment of partnership with the consortium member libraries to develop and advance the BLC’s strategic priorities. They will be a natural collaborator who demonstrates leadership ability within the BLC as well as the broad research and academic library consortium field.
The Executive Director will have many of all of the following qualities and experiences:
- Successful academic or non-profit management experience as an advocate and spokesperson and leadership experience within a higher education or related setting;
- Interpersonal skills to engage and influence effectively with staff, constituents, and professional colleagues;
- Experience and facility with organizational planning, project assessment, and strategic and effective negotiation skills;
- Solid business judgement and decision-making ability, comfortable using data and analytics in support of making recommendations;
- Consultative work style and excellent communication skills;
- Demonstrated understanding of trends, opportunities, and challenges within the academic, research, and digital libraries, and knowledge of information policy and technology applications relevant to user-centered library services, especially resource sharing;
- Proven fiscal and project management skills; ability to manage and prioritize multiple projects and responsibilities;
- Experience in developing and implementing collaborative arrangements in a highly professionalized and/or geographically dispersed environment;
- Demonstrated commitment to creating and sustaining a diverse and inclusive work culture;
- Experience with grant writing and grants administration; and
- Experience with consortia and/or collaborative ventures.
The Executive Director will have at least 5 years’ experience in an academic environment, demonstrating a record of progressively increasing administrative and leadership responsibility. An advanced degree in library science, information science, or related field is preferred. The ability to travel regularly to member libraries and to professional conferences is required.
Beth Schaefer and Josyanne Roche of Koya Leadership Partners have been exclusively retained for this search. To express your interest in this role please submit your materials here. All inquiries and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.
About Koya Leadership Partners
Koya Leadership Partners, a member of the Diversified Search Group, is a leading executive search and strategic advising firm dedicated to connecting exceptionally talented people with mission-driven clients. Our founding philosophy—The Right Person in the Right Place Can Change the World—guides our work as we partner with nonprofits & NGOs, institutions of higher education, responsible businesses, and social enterprises in local communities and around the world.
Koya is an equal opportunity employer fully committed to creating an environment and team that represents a variety of backgrounds, perspectives, styles, and experiences. We encourage all to apply because we believe a diversity of voices leads to better discussions, decisions, and outcomes for everyone.
For more information about Koya Leadership Partners, visit www.koyapartners.com.