State Librarian, Washington State Library

The Washington State Library:

Established in 1853, the Washington State Library houses, preserves, and provides access to the most comprehensive collection of printed, manuscript, and electronic materials on Washington state government, history, and culture. Open weekdays to the public, the Washington State Library is the research and reference library at the seat of state government.

The State Library administers the Regional Federal Depository, and through the State Publications Depository Program, the State Library is the official designated holder of the State’s collections of government publications. The State Library also administers the Washington Talking Book and Braille Library, located in downtown Seattle, and 11 institutional branches located across the state in correctional and mental health facilities.

Finally, the State Library administers the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) Grants to State Program. Under this program, the State Library provides leadership, technical assistance, statewide library development projects, and grant funding to nearly all of Washington’s local community public libraries.

After a decade of managing budget uncertainties, following the 2015 legislative session, the Washington State Library is now on sound financial footing, with an ample, stable, and dedicated revenue stream, and the organization is ready to play a leading role in digitization and the use of digital technologies to serve the citizens of Washington state.

The State Librarian:

The Washington State Librarian serves as the State Library Director, responsible for fulfilling the library’s mission through the effective and efficient administration of an innovative, creative, and complex organization:

  • The State Librarian plans and implements strategies that utilize emergent technologies and virtual services to provide comprehensive public access to library materials, collections, and services to the public.
  • The State Librarian ensures that all state, federal, and private grant programs that fall under the State Library’s purview are managed in compliance with grant objectives and requirements.
  • The State Librarian fosters strong relationships with the State Library’s various partners and constituencies, seeking input and advice, and promoting collaborative efforts that maximize the agency’s fiscal and human resources to the benefit of Washington citizens.
  • The State Librarian serves as a member of the Chief Officers of State Library Agencies (COSLA) and the Western Council of State Libraries.
  • The State Librarian works closely with federal Institute of Museum and Library Services leadership to ensure the needs of the state’s libraries are met.

The Washington State Librarian is appointed by the Secretary and serves in an at-will capacity.

The ideal candidate:

We are seeking a library services professional to shape the vision, develop the strategic plan and provide the leadership required to transform the Washington State Library into a model public resource, through which information is available in digital form, accessible anytime and anywhere. The ideal candidate will be an advocate for thoughtful, purposeful modernization; a nimble leader with extensive success in building strong teams and high morale; an excellent communicator who is comfortable in front of a wide variety of audiences; and an exceptional administrator who is adept at managing resources and can demonstrate the value of library programs and services.

Required Education & Experience:

  • Master’s degree in library or information science from an ALA accredited program.
  • Five (5) years of full-time, progressively responsible experience in library operations and management as a professional librarian.
  • Three (3) years of full-time experience with strategic planning and budget development/ management for a library program within a library.
  • Two (2) years of full-time experience working with legislators and other elected/appointed decision-makers in a political environment.
  • Two (2) years of full-time management experience, including personnel management in a library or library-related field.


$107,000 – $118,000, depending upon qualifications. Washington State offers a full benefits package that includes health, dental, life and long-term disability insurance; paid vacation, sick and military leave; optional credit unions, savings bonds and deferred compensation plans; 11 paid holidays; and a public employees’ retirement plan.

To apply:

All applications must be submitted through online and include an application, resume, salary history, and letter of interest.

The screening process for this position is ongoing and will continue until the position is filled. If you have applied for this position already, your application is still under consideration and there is no need to reapply.

Should you have questions about this position and recruitment, please contact:
Diana Townsend
Office of the Secretary of State

You may view the full announcement here (PDF).

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