Position Type: Professional
Library Type: Public
Head of Children's Services
The Head of Children’s Services is a professional level position responsible for the development and implementation of a full range of library services for children aged from infancy through at least age sixteen, and adults and agencies serving children. This position requires knowledge and application of current professional library techniques. The Head of Children’s Service’s responsibilities include: collection development, programming for young people, outreach services, maintenance of the Children’s Room, provision of reference services in the Children’s Room, and supervision of young library users and of Staff and volunteer assistants to the Head of Children’s Services. This position requires both a high degree of independent initiative and of coordination with Library Administration.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities
Maintenance of the Children’s Room
- Assessing and making recommendations to the Director regarding the physical design of the Children’s Room, including furnishings and equipment.
- Maintaining all materials, collections, and equipment in good condition and orderly fashion.
- Working to create an environment that is appealing to children, and which speaks to their interests.
- Classifying and arranging all materials in a manner that is clearly understood and that make materials easily accessible.
- Creating regular displays in various areas of the Children’s Room that are appealing and that reflect traditional and contemporary themes of interest to young people, and that promote library resources.
- Installing signage that is appealing, clearly informs, and is prominently displayed.
- Selecting of materials in accordance with professional library practice and the Goodall Library Materials Selection Policy, placing orders within the children’s materials budget, using the standard ordering format used by the Library.
- Selecting materials based on assessment of the needs of library users, appeal, and requests, reflecting knowledge of current cultural, personal, and educational interests of young people.
- Selection of materials reflecting a knowledge of children’s literature, Maine literature, authors, and state, regional and national award winners.
- Developing and implementing a variety of innovative, regularly scheduled, special event programming that speak to and capture the interest of young people. To include: age appropriate story hours, public school vacation programs, summer programs, and special evening programs.
- Managing all aspects of programming including appropriation of resources, coordinating with Library Administration, and promotion/publicity.
- Serving as a liaison between the Library and schools, caregivers, home-schoolers, and agencies serving children. Initiative is taken in seeking out, developing, and maintaining effective relationships with these groups.
- Conducts visits to schools and agencies, presenting appealing programs that inform children, teachers, and caregivers of the resources and programs offered by the Library. Effectively coordinates with librarians and administrators.
- Identifying agencies such as nursery schools and other care givers, working to implement programs.
- Identifying and promoting referrals linking children and caregivers to support services and community activities.
- Providing informational services to children and adults in the Children’s Room.
- Applying professional referencing skills in accurately assessing needs and in assisting in locating materials to fulfil those needs.
- Instructing children in information gathering skills, in particular, the use of the Online Public Access Catalog and classification schemes in locating materials.
- Supervising all library users in the Children’s Room, enforcing the Library’s rules for conduct.
- Monitoring the conduct of children and adults in the hall area immediately outside the Children’s Room, enforcing the Library’s rules for conduct.
- Assisting in monitoring the conduct of children and adults in the Community Room, enforcing the Library’s rules of conduct when practical, or alerting Library Administration when necessary.
Knowledge, Skills AND Abilities
- Knowledge and implementation of the principles of current library practice.
- Ability to develop and implement a variety of age-appropriate programs that speak to the interests of young people.
- Ability to identify, prepare, submit, and manage grants of benefit to children’s services.
- Possess a broad background of knowledge useful in assisting young people with reference questions.
- Knowledge and implementation of state, regional, and national library youth resources.
- Alertness to changes in society which may necessitate changes in services or the acquisition of new skills.
- Computer Skills: proficiency in the basic operation of personal computers and their peripherals; proficiency in the use of the components of the Library’s automated system directly involved with the HCS’s responsibilities; proficiency in the use of Microsoft Word processing and Excel spreadsheet; proficiency in the use of Windows 95/98 operating system; ability to become proficient in the use of all software resident on Children’s Room computers, sufficient to assist users; proficiency in the use of the Internet using a Web browser, sufficient to assist children, and as an reference information resource.
- Interacts with library users in a manner that is courteous, engaging, and effective (assesses and fulfils user needs.)
- Interacts with children in a warm and engaging manner that stimulates their interest.
- Does not display negative behaviors towards library users.
- Is responsive to comments, suggestions, and requests, incorporating them into services.
- Interacts cooperatively and effectively with all Library Staff and with Library Administration. “Effective” are those interactions that foster accomplishment of work and forward the interests of the Children’s Room and the Library. “Ineffective” interactions are those that cause impediments to library operations and result in a lack of cooperation.
- Communicates with Staff, keeping them informed of the operations of the Children’s Services.
- Seeks discussion with Library Administration regarding initiatives and general operations issues, communicating in writing when appropriate. Obtains approval from the Director before implementing significant initiatives.
- Communicates effectively with library users, Staff, Administration, and representatives of outside agencies, both orally and in writing.
- Effectively promotes children’s services, including programming, through the use of in-house and outside publicity.
- Assists with tasks outside the Children’s Room when requested such as creating signage, bookmarks and brochures.
- Master’s Degree in Library/Information Science from an ALA accredited is highly desirable.
- Significant experience in and a working knowledge of children’s library services are required.
- Proficiency using personal computers, computer software, and the Internet is required.
- Demonstrated excellent public relations ability with all ages is required