Associate Library Director

Associate Library Dir of Public Services & Strategic Initiatives

Recruitment #2208-4141-001



The Associate Library Director of Public Services & Strategic Initiatives is appointed by and serves at the pleasure of the Milwaukee Public Library Director*

Located on the western shore of Lake Michigan, Milwaukee is an urban hub bursting with energy. Milwaukee provides a casual sophistication – big city appeal without the big-city hassles. We are accessible and affordable, and our residents are welcoming. Milwaukee has evolved through the years, bringing together its unsurpassed old-world charm with a breathtaking Art Museum, top-flight arts and cultural attractions, professional sports, lakefront festivals, recreational opportunities and great restaurants.


The Milwaukee Public Library (MPL) offers a dynamic, innovative work environment where each employee contributes to making the Library the best Third Place possible – Inspiration starts here, we help people read, learn and connect!


We are looking for a dynamic and innovative library leader to join our team!


The Associate Library Director provides high-level community service operational oversight that supports the extensive public-facing operations of the Milwaukee Public Library (MPL), including educational programming, inclusive and wide-ranging outreach and exhibits, special events, and projects.

The Associate Library Director provides ongoing leadership and direction to senior management personnel at 13 locations throughout the City of Milwaukee.

Essential Functions

Public Services and Strategic Initiatives Leadership

  • Lead the Public Service Area Managers of the Central Library, Branch Libraries, and Youth, Education, and Outreach Services, along with other public service managers and staff, in providing innovative and high-quality library services to the public; encourage teambuilding within and between work units.
  • Support the Central Public Services Area Manager in ensuring the successful administration of the services provided by the Wisconsin Talking Book and Braille Library.
  • Lead the development of service models to ensure outstanding customer experiences that meet the needs of the community.
  • Work with the Community Relations and Engagement Director to enhance and elevate public service programs.
  • Act in the absence of the Library Director and Deputy Director in matters relating to the operation of the MPL System.
  • In partnership with the Library Director, develop the policies, programs, and long-range plans of the Library's Board of Trustees.
  • Work closely with the Library Director and the MPL leadership team to ensure that organizational funding and budgets support the strategic organizational goals and the public-facing service needs of the community.
  • Assess and evaluate existing programs and services to determine public-facing needs for the future; seek opportunities for streamlining and use data and surveys to assess impact.
  • Analyze existing services in relation to strategic and funding priorities to expand the library’s capacity to fulfill its mission and initiatives, including developing innovative spaces, designs, and related programming, i.e., “Maker Spaces,” the Central Library Business Commons, system-wide youth, teen, and adult programming, and outreach and delivery services. Lead the internal committees and partners that support these vital services.
  • Establish staffing patterns, goals, and objectives for the public services team. Develop policies, procedures, and institutional benchmarks with peer public libraries. Evaluate customer service and service delivery to maintain strong and consistent public-facing interactions throughout the system.


Community and Strategic Partnerships Development

  • Work closely with the Library Director, the MPL Foundation, and the MPL Board to maximize financial and growth opportunities that support the mission via grants and collaboration.
  • Provide content and direction for new grants and privately funded projects that support the mission; work with Foundation staff and others on crafting proposals for funding.
  • Work with teams internally in leading program design efforts for proposed projects, including outcomes, measures, and evaluation plans.
  • Determine the need for consultant support; identify funding, create scopes of service, and ensure accountability.
  • Assume responsibility under the Library Director as an official MPL representative at other City of Milwaukee committees and meetings.
  • Supervise community public service partnerships to ensure the approaches are consistent in all areas of MPL Public Services.
  • Liaise with the Milwaukee County Federated Library System (MCFLS), which includes 15 municipalities with 14 participating library boards.
  • Liaise with the State of Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI), which is a source of federal and state funds for library programs and federated operations.
  • Represent the library in community and professional meetings and maintain active membership in professional organizations.
  • Keep current with and contribute to technical, professional, and relevant business literature.
  • Liaise with other major urban libraries nationwide, special libraries and information agencies, community groups, and local officials.
  • Write articles for publication.
  • Lead projects such as the Wisconsin Writers Wall of Fame and MPL Poet Laureate selection processes: recruit selection committees, facilitate the work of the committees, and lead subsequent programming.


Performance Management and Customer Service Leadership

  • Select, train, and evaluate management and reference personnel.
  • Maintain close connections to peer institutions and current trends in library public services and measure staff according to best practices in the field.
  • Set standards, including coaching public service managers and supervisors on customer service and communication skills.
  • Receive, investigate, evaluate, and act upon complex complaints and suggestions from residents, patrons, and organizations pertaining to public services.
  • Apply and interpret MPL Board and City policies in multifaceted public-facing situations.
  • In collaboration with others, lead teams in executing the strategies laid out in the MPL Racial Equity and Inclusion Work Plan and other Library Committees.


We welcome qualified individuals with disabilities who are interested in employment and will make reasonable accommodations during the hiring process in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990, as amended by the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA) of 2008.

Conditions of Employment

Please be advised that new employees are required to have received either both doses of the Moderna or Pfizer or one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine prior to their employment start date or have an approved religious or medical accommodation prior to their employment start date. You can find further information relative to the City’s Covid-19 Vaccination Policy here.


The Associate Library Director must be able to do the following:

· Work beyond standard business hours on occasion, including being available for emergencies.

· Work rotating shifts, including evening and weekend hours.

· Stand, walk, climb stepstools, crouch, and reach.

· Lift and move items weighing up to 10 pounds occasionally and/or negligible amount of force constantly to move objects.

Minimum Requirements

1.    Master's degree in library science or library information science from an American Library Association (ALA)-accredited library school.

2.    Four years of library management experience as an administrator of a public service operation in a neighborhood library unit, an independent municipal library, or a central library in an urban setting; as an administrator of a major library division; or as a coordinator in a major subject area.

3.    Valid driver's license at time of appointment and throughout employment, including use of a properly-insured personal vehicle (mileage reimbursement is provided pursuant to Section 350‑183 of the Milwaukee Code).

Equivalent combinations of education and experience may also be considered.


NOTICE: Please do not attach your academic transcripts to your employment application. The hiring department will verify candidates’ education as part of the background screening process prior to extending any job offers.

Desirable Qualifications

· Experience working with patrons from diverse socio-economic, cultural and educational backgrounds.

· Successful experience in obtaining outside funding.

Knowledge, Skills, Abilities & Other Characteristics


  • Knowledge of modern public library goals, organization, practices, policies, goals, services, administration, and reference services.
  • Ability to learn the workings of the MPL system, including its policies, functions, relationships, and resources.
  • Ability to read and interpret a wide variety of job-related documents; broad knowledge of subject disciplines and wide-ranging reading interests.
  • Knowledge of computers, online catalogs, databases, networks, and their applications for library use; proficiency using word processing, spreadsheet, and database software.
  • Understanding of the social responsibilities of an urban public library in an era of information access and technological change.
  • Knowledge of research methods, development, and the preservation and organization of research and reference collections.
  • Ability to promote innovative programming and public service development.
  • Knowledge of budgeting processes to be able to assist with complex budget development and management.
  • Ability to acquire knowledge of building renovation planning and processes. 

Leadership and Supervisory

  • Flexibility and skill in encouraging staff to solve problems in the interest of providing the highest quality public service.
  • Ability to execute the full spectrum of management duties, including ability to interview, onboard, train, coach, motivate, discipline, and evaluate staff.
  • Ability to foster an environment of inclusion wherein all employees are treated respectfully, are valued for their strengths, and feel that they can safely express themselves.
  • Ability to represent the library consistent with MPL's vision, mission, and strategic plan.

Communication and Interpersonal

  • Skill in tactfully and respectfully addressing sensitive situations with patrons who may be experiencing difficult personal issues.
  • Community outreach skills to be able to build relationships with community partners.
  • Customer service knowledge and skill.
  • Ability to work effectively with multilevel, multicultural managers and staff, elected officials, board members, other City employees, vendors, community groups, and patrons from all socioeconomic, educational, literacy, and cultural backgrounds.
  • Verbal communication and presentation skills to be able to share information in a clear and concise manner to various audiences, both formal and informal.
  • Written communication skills to be able to write clear reports, correspondence, policies, procedures, and publication-ready articles.

Judgment and Critical Thinking

  • Critical thinking skills to be able to creatively solve challenging, multifaceted problems, make sound decisions, and marshal library system resources for the benefit of the community.
  • Organizational skills and the ability to manage multiple priorities and meet frequent deadlines.
  • Skill in performing detailed, independent work with a high degree of accuracy.
  • Situational awareness and observational skills to be able to mitigate potential safety incidents.
  • Professionalism, honesty, integrity, ability to maintain confidentiality, and responsible stewardship of City resources.
  • Intellectual curiosity as well as a commitment to staying apprised of developments in library management.

Current Salary

The current salary range (Pay Range 1JX) is $92,513-$114,879 annually, and the resident incentive salary range for City of Milwaukee residents is $95,288-$118,326 annually. Appointment above the minimum is possible based upon level of experience and other qualifications and is subject to approval.


The City of Milwaukee provides a comprehensive benefit program that includes the following:

· Defined Benefit Pension Plan

· 457 Deferred Compensation Plan

· Health and Dental Insurance

· Paid Parental Leave

· Comprehensive Wellness Program

· Onsite Clinic Services

· Onsite Employee Assistance Program

· Alternative Work Schedules

· Long Term Disability Insurance

· Group Life Insurance

· Tuition Benefits

· Paid Vacation

· 11 Paid Holidays

· Paid Sick Leave and other paid leaves

· Flexible Spending Arrangement

· Commuter Value Pass

For full details of the benefits offered by the City of Milwaukee, please visit

Selection Process

The Selection Process - will be job related and will consist of one or more of the following: an evaluation of related education, experience and accomplishments, written tests, interview, or other assessment methods. The Milwaukee Public Library reserves the right to call only the most qualified candidates to oral exams, performance tests, or personal interviews. Information from the selection process will be used to make a hiring decision.

Screening for this position will be based on an evaluation of each applicant’s education, experience, and professional accomplishments, which should be detailed in a cover letter and resume.

Please send the following via email to by 11:59 p.m. on Friday, September 9, 2022:

  1. cover letter
  2. resume

  • Please indicate “Associate Library Director” in the subject line.

The City of Milwaukee reserves the right to invite only the most qualified applicants to participate in the selection process.

INITIAL FILING DATE: The selection process will be conducted as soon as practical after the deadline date. Receipt of application materials may be discontinued at any time after this date without prior notice. However, recruitment may continue until the needs of the City have been met. The applicant is responsible for attending all phases of the job selection process at the time and place designated by the City of Milwaukee.

Additional Information

Inquiries regarding the selection process may be directed to Danielle Wrobleski by calling 414.286.3077 or via email at


EEO Code 101

The City of Milwaukee values and encourages diversity and is an equal opportunity employer.

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