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Manager of Branch Services, Somerville Public Library (Somerville)


The Manager of Branch Services is a leadership position that reports to the Director of Libraries and oversees the daily operation of our newly renovated, historic West Branch Library. This position manages, assists, and supports branch supervisors within Somerville’s public library system; and coordinates the training of branch employees, assists branch supervisors with daily operational needs, develops goals, and seeks to implement new initiatives that will enhance library services and patron experiences for branch library users. This position develops programs and oversees collection development for adults of all ages at the West Branch, serves as a liaison for programs and collections at library branches, and is responsible for budget and programmatic build out of additional temporary branch location services.

Essential Functions

The essential functions or duties listed below are intended only as illustrations of the various type of work that may be performed. The omission of specific statements of duties does not exclude them from the position if the work is similar, related, or a logical assignment to the position.

- Support the mission of the Somerville Public Library and its strategic plan by developing, executing, and evaluating annual action plans
- Direct all activities and supervise staff assigned to West Branch
- Prepare staff schedules and work assignments at West Branch, ensuring that desk coverage is adequate and is assigned in the best interest of library service needs
- Serve as liaison for branch managers submitting staff schedules and work assignments
- Aid in the recruitment of new branch staff, serve on relevant search committees as requested, and train new branch staff members, acquainting them with branch routines, and library policies and procedures
- Provide exceptional and engaging service to the public, and ensure library staff offer the highest quality assistance to library users
- Resolve patron complaints and issues related to library branches
- Supervise the planning of programming for branch library users of all ages
- Contribute to the development of programs for adults of all ages
- Oversee the planning and implementation of exhibits at branch libraries
- Oversee the marketing and publicity of West Branch programs, services, exhibits, and collections; work collaboratively to publicize branch events and services both in print and online; contribute high quality content to the library’s social media platforms and website
- Foster good public relations with other agencies, organizations, and businesses in the West Branch community by participating in community events; and appearing on television, radio, and social media
- Oversee branch budget expenditures; seek funding opportunities to expand branch programs and services
Select materials for West Branch collection of interest to adults of all ages
- Oversee maintenance of branch collections so that they reflect the needs of the community, are update to date, varied in format, effectively promoted, and anticipate patron needs and expectations
- Perform reader's advisory, and information and referral services for patrons
- Perform functions related to circulation, including checkouts, check-ins, reserves, renewals, fine assessment and collection, compilation of statistics, and interchange
- Instruct and assist patrons in the use of the online catalog, e-resources, and other patron technology
- Oversee the conditions of the West Branch building and report needed maintenance and repairs. Ensure cleanliness and good order of both public and staff areas
- Assist branch supervisors with building concerns and needs
- Function as a member of the library leadership team, attending municipal and library department meetings as is necessary and helpful
- Assist Library Administration in responding to labor grievances at Step 1
- Work with the Library Administration to develop labor strategies, proposals, and strategic plans for library-related labor matters with Personnel and the Law Department
- Work with the Library Administration and Personnel on sensitive library personnel matters with a high level of discretion, including workplace accommodations, hiring, promotions
- Under direction of the Library Director contribute to the development of and review library policies and procedures
- Prepare necessary reports
- Troubleshoot equipment problems as needed
- Operate audio-visual equipment as necessary
- Attend professional meetings and serve on committees that support the mission of the Library and Minuteman Library Network.
- Follow trends and best practices in public librarianship; attend workshops, webinars, conferences, and other forms of professional development
- Any other duties required for the good of the West Branch or the Library


Education and Experience

A master’s degree (MLS) from an ALA-accredited graduate school of library and information science, and a minimum of 3-5 years of progressively responsible professional library work, including supervisory experience. Public library experience preferred. In exceptional instances, specialized education, training, and/or experience may be substituted for part of the educational requirement.

Bi-lingual or multilingual ability in Spanish, Portuguese, Haitian-Creole and/or Nepali is desirable.

Knowledge, Abilities and Skill

Knowledge:  Knowledge of standard public library procedures, current information technology, Integrated Library Systems (ILS), Internet and database search capabilities. Knowledge of popular adult materials; thorough knowledge of borrower/circulation services.

Abilities:  Ability to interpret community needs and interests and to translate them into relevant library service; ability to evaluate staff, set goals with staff, implement progressive disciplinary action when needed, motivate staff, maintain morale, provide direction, and support organizational goals; ability to manage professional and paraprofessional staff, both full time and part time, in a fast-paced service area; ability to work courteously and professionally with diverse populations, neighborhood organizations, and businesses. Ability to communicate effectively, courteously, and professionally with the public of all ages and backgrounds; ability to handle multiple activities and interruptions at once; ability to remain calm and clear-headed, especially in emergency situations; ability to organize work, set priorities, use time effectively, work independently, and meet deadlines; ability to provide excellent oral and written communication skills; ability to prepare and execute effective written reports and presentations; ability to problem solve. Ability to research and evaluate Library procedures, policies, services, collections and programs; ability to manage change and demonstrate flexibility in emergency staffing and other work situations.

Skill:  High degree of management skills, communication skills, as well as leadership skills, including building shared vision and motivating others to perform to the best of their abilities. Demonstrated project management skills. Data processing skill in the use of personal computers and office software, including word processing, database and spreadsheet applications in support of department operations. The position requires analytical skills to understand structure and improve processes, as well as time management and individual/team organizational skills.

Work Environment

The work environment involves everyday discomforts typical of offices or libraries, with occasional exposure to outside elements. Noise or physical surroundings may be distracting, but conditions are generally not unpleasant. Employee may be required to work beyond normal business hours to attend evening meetings.

Physical and Mental Requirements

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the position’s essential function.

Physical Skills:  Little or no physical demands are required to perform the work. Work effort principally involves sitting to perform work tasks, with intermittent periods of stooping, walking, and standing. There may also be some occasional pulling, bending, lifting, carrying and shelving of objects such as books, office equipment and library (up to 40 lbs.).

Motor Skills:  Duties are largely mental rather than physical, but the job may occasionally require minimal motor skills for activities such as moving objects, operating a telephone system, computer and/or most other office equipment, typing and/or word processing, filing, and sorting.

Visual Skills:  Visual demands include constantly reading documents in print and on the computer, for general understanding and for analytical purposes.

Full/Part Time

Full Time




$88,434.00 annual with benefits

Closing Date

Open until filled

How to Apply

Send your resume and cover letter to

City Hall Personnel Office
93 Highland Avenue
Somerville MA 02143
Fax: 617-666-4426
TTY: 1-866-808-4851

City of Somerville residents are especially encouraged to apply.

See listing on City of Somerville's website:

The City of Somerville is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, age, national origin, disability or any other protected category. Women, minorities, veterans, and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply. Auxiliary aids and services, written materials in alternative formats, and reasonable modifications in policies and procedures will be provided to qualified individuals with disabilities free of charge, upon request.


2021-05-12 |  Quick link to this job