Library Director

Newton Public Library seeks an innovative, energetic individual to serve as its next Library Director. The Director carries out the mission of the library under the general direction of the Board of Trustees of the Newton Public Library and manages all aspects of library services with vision, responsibility and authority. The Director plans, organizes, directs, and manages library operations and facility, and coordinates the program of services subject to the policies established by the Board of Trustees. The Director reports to the Library Board.

About the Library

Founded in 1886, Newton Public Library serves a vibrant, engaged community of 20,000 residents in the seat of Harvey County. The library employs 9 full-time and 7 part-time staff, with an overall budget of $833,860. In 2019, NPL’s patrons used nearly 180,000 library items, for an average of 10.4 annual library uses per city resident. NPL holds hundreds of adult and youth programs annually, with total program attendance of more than 10,000. The new Library Director will join NPL at an exciting time for the organization: In 2021, the library will launch a capital campaign to replace its current building with a new, state-of-the-art facility. Completion of the new library is projected in 2023.

About the Community

Located 25 miles from Wichita, Newton is a vibrant community that combines a small-town feel and easy access to the amenities of a big city. Newton Public Schools‘ award-winning staff serves 3,600 students, and Newton High School leads the state in student achievement in Advanced Placement classes. The Newton Area Chamber of Commerce and other organizations sponsor a variety of festivals, concerts, runs, and other community events throughout the year. One popular event, Taste of Newton, is held in October each year and draws thousands to the historic downtown to sample foods from local vendors. The Newton Mid-Kansas Symphony Orchestra holds four public concerts each year, and Bethel College sponsors various performing arts groups, festivals and cultural events. Excellent connectivity is a perk of living in Newton, which sits at the crossroads of I-135, U.S. 50, U.S. 81 and K-15. Newton has the state’s busiest Amtrak station, providing rail service to Los Angeles and Chicago.


The hiring salary range for this position is $64,200 to $82,500 annually, with a generous benefit package including KPERS, sick leave, health insurance, and vacation leave. Pay will be determined by education and experience.


Salaried – Exempt for purposes of Fair Labor Standards.

Minimum Required Education and Experience

  1. Masters of Library Science from an American Library Association accredited institution.
  2. At least three years of library management and supervisory experience.

Additional Eligibility Qualifications:

  1. Must possess or have the ability to obtain a valid Kansas Driver’s License.
  2. Must successfully complete health and physical screenings, including drug and alcohol testing.
  3. Must pass a criminal background check.
  4. Required residency within a 50-mile radius of Newton Public Library.

Essential Functions

The following duties are not intended to serve as a comprehensive list of all duties performed. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Planning and Policy Making

  • Establishes all policies and procedures for the library including emergency procedures.
  • Prepares regular, monthly, and annual library reports, and oversees compilation of various statistics, surveys and reports.
  • Takes an active role in library-safety compliance, adheres to safety procedures and maintains current safety data for the library.
  • Oversees the maintenance of the library’s collection; develops policies in relation to the selection and purchase of all library materials.
  • Monitors and evaluates service delivery methods and procedures; identifies and implements changes necessary to improve operational efficiency.
  • Manages the development and implementation of library goals, objectives, priorities, policies and procedures; ensures Board objectives are integrated into Library policies and goals.

Fiscal Management

  • Acts as executive, financial and chief vision officer of the library and is administrative officer and secretary of the Library Board. Manages and advises the Board on financial short-and long-range planning matters.
  • Develops and maintains a relationship with the City of Newton to ensure library funding.
  • Works with Newton Public Library Foundation Board to raise funding for the library.
  • Writes and evaluates bid requests for presentation to the Library Board.
  • Prepares and manages the library budget, including administration of funds for the Florence Bessmer Foundation, Newton Public Library Foundation, state funds, or other special grant fund allocations.
  • Oversees monthly pay plan, computes and prorates pay increases, deductions and benefits.

Personnel/Supervisory Management

  • Hires, terminates, trains, supervises, and evaluates the performance of assigned personnel.
  • Directs staff meetings and manages personnel policies and files.
  • Advises employees as to payroll procedures and fringe benefits.

Library Program Management

  • Ensures the delivery of a variety of quality library programs and services to the community.
  • Establishes and evaluates the effectiveness of library services, facilities, and programs in relation to the changing needs of the community.
  • Monitors collection maintenance such as inventory, shelving, and shelf reading by approved library filing techniques.
  • Performs the implementation and ongoing management of an integrated library system and a multi-user network with local area network components.
  • Substitutes in service areas as needed.

Property Management, Building Projects, and Technology

  • Manages the development of capital improvement projects.
  • Directs the maintenance of the library building, performing regular inspection and planning preventative maintenance on the library building in coordination with the City of Newton, and oversees contractor work.
  • Manages insurance coverage on all facilities, fixed assets, and inventory in coordination with the City of Newton.
  • Oversees management of servers, all systems, and equipment.

Community Outreach and Public Relations

  • Acts as spokesperson and library representative for the library.
  • Establishes and maintains effective working relationships with local government officials and agencies, including funding bodies, and other community leaders to meet the needs of the library service area residents, staff and facility.
  • Provides information and attends the meetings of the Florence Bessmer Foundation Board, Newton Library Foundation Board.
  • Responds to inquiries involving library-related matters; negotiates and resolves complex, sensitive, and/or controversial issues and complaints.

Continuing Education

  • Participates in professional meetings and conferences and keeps informed of professional development opportunities.
  • Encourages staff and NL Board to take part in continued learning opportunities through meetings, workshops, seminars/webinars, and conferences.

Desired Skills and Competencies

  1. Strategic Thinking

Recognize evolving trends and technology and appropriately revise or create services and programs.

  1. Community Focus

Work with a positive, service-oriented attitude, focused on current and future community needs.

  1. Leadership

Support staff in developing innovative ways to assist the library in creating and maintaining relevant services and programs. Take a leadership role in state-wide activities for the benefit of member libraries and general library services. Show knowledge and demonstrated understanding of library administrative theory and practices.

  1. Problem Solving

Recognize patterns, consider risks, and use sound judgement to identify, solve, and prevent problems. Have the ability to take charge and deal effectively with crises.

  1. Decision Making

Gather, utilize, and interpret relevant information to make informed decisions.

  1. Financial Organization

Successfully organize all income and expenditures, develop annual budget, manage payroll and benefits, prepare materials for annual audit, and oversee grant-funded projects.

  1. Presentation Skills 

Inform and educate small and large groups through a variety of presentation methods, including online and in-person venues.

  1. Communication

Convey and receive information effectively in writing and when speaking, keepingstaff, community, and stakeholders apprised of library services and programs.

  1. Dependability

Take appropriate action to meet goals, schedules, and demands while accepting responsibility for actions, results, and risks.

Mental and Physical Abilities: The mental and 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 essential functions. While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to stand, sit, walk, use hands and fingers, reach with arms and talk or hear. The employee is occasionally required to climb or balance; stoop, kneel, crouch, or crawl. The employee may on rare occasion lift and/or move by pushing or pulling up to 50 pounds. The employee must be able to have physical stamina to provide active service to patrons during workdays of up to eight hours. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, color vision and peripheral vision. The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate. Stressful situations may occur when dealing with the public. The employee must be able to work flexible hours.

Application Process and Contact Information

The Library Board has contracted with a third party to receive applications. To apply, please submit a cover letter, resume, and three references at: If you have any questions regarding this open position, please send those inquiries to: Kristina Dietrick, President, HR Partners, 785-232-5650,

The position will remain open until October 9, 2020.

Newton Public Library is an Equal Opportunity Employer and values diversity in its workforce. Applicants selected as finalists for this position will be subject to a comprehensive background check.