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Public Library Director Toolkit

Position openings at the library can be a chance to reevaluate the needs of the organization. Take time to look at the previous job description and make sure that it truly fits the position. Evaluate the responsibilities of this position as well as the duties. The job description also needs to include minimum requirements for education and work experience, desirable areas of expertise, salary and benefits, a probation period, expectations for successful job performance, physical and environmental requirements of the job, and certification requirements. 

Once the job description has been finalized, review the pay scale to make sure that it is competitive. Pay should be comparable to city/school district positions with similar requirements and responsibilities.

Once your board has approved a job description for the open position, it's time to open up the application. The job announcement itself should include the job description and pay scale along with a description of the library and community. Make sure to request references and resumes as well. The job announcement should then be advertised on the local website and social media, North Dakota Library Association's Job Listings page, and other listservs and associations that the board deems relevant. Some cities have requirements about how jobs need to be advertised, so check in with the city or county’s Human Resources department before placing ads.


The interview is the time where you get to see how a job candidate would fit the needs of the library. Make sure all of the questions you ask will provide you insight into how well this person would succeed at the tasks required in the job description or within the culture of your current library. There are certain questions that are illegal to ask, so make sure you brush up on your employment law before choosing your interview questions.

All interviewees should be asked the same questions and rated on the same scale by each interviewer. This is to eliminate bias from the interview process. It also makes sure that one candidate doesn't get preferential treatment by being asked "easier" questions.

Pre-Employment testing may include computer skills tests, background checks, social media checks, and telephone references. It's important to do your due diligence when making hiring decisions to make sure that the person you hire is able to do the job you are hiring them to do.

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Many of these resources and programs are funded under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.