The Washington Research Library Consortium (WRLC) seeks a dynamic, creative Executive Director (ED) to provide innovative and thoughtful leadership and to advance the mission of this member-driven not-for-profit organization composed of nine libraries in the greater Washington, D.C., metropolitan area. The WRLC supports and enhances the library and information technology services of its member universities by enabling the success of learning and scholarship by creating coordinated collections, creating a robust infrastructure for ease of discovery and access, ensuring the long-term preservation of physical and digital information resources, staying current on emerging information technologies and information management, and sharing expertise across the consortium and beyond.
This leader partners with consortium libraries to maximize opportunities for resource sharing, collaboration, and advocacy. This leader has an entrepreneurial spirit and shows a strong commitment to exploring all ideas that are brought to the table. The Executive Director will have the opportunity to work with a talented team and a board that is committed to the sustainability and vibrancy of the WRLC as a vital and reliable resource.
About Washington Research Library Consortium
The Washington Research Library Consortium (WRLC) was established as a non-profit 501 (c)(3) organization in 1987 to support and enhance the library and information services of universities in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. It aims to do this through expanding coordination of a cooperative network between different research libraries in and around Washington. Major services provided include information technology supporting library operations and resource-sharing, access to online resources, technologies to support digital collections and share campus scholarship, and offsite storage to free up valuable space in campus libraries.
WRLC provides mission-critical services to its current member universities which represent a range of private and public schools in and around the Washington, D.C. area:
- American University
- The Catholic University of America
- Gallaudet University
- George Mason University
- Georgetown University
- George Washington University
- Howard University
- Marymount University
- The University of the District of Columbia
The Board of Directors meets quarterly and consists of thirteen directors. Board Members are typically the officer that has responsibility for the member library or other University official designated. The Board has standing committees that include an Executive Committee, a Finance Committee, a Library Directors Council, and a Council of Presidents.
For more information on WRLC Governance, please read here.
For more information on the Washington Research Library Consortium please visit their website.
The Executive Director (ED) leads the Washington Research Library Consortium (WRLC), a financially healthy, member-driven not-for-profit organization that supports and enhances the library and information services of its member universities through coordinated collections, a robust infrastructure for discovery and access, long-term preservation of information resources, and sharing expertise.
Reporting to the WRLC Board of Directors, the ED is responsible for the overall success of the WRLC by providing the leadership to achieve its vision and mission, including advancing the consortium on behalf of its member institutions. The ED collaborates and communicates with the WRLC leadership team, the Board of Directors, the Library Directors Council, and other groups to develop and implement its strategic initiatives. The ED builds relationships with other library consortia to create opportunities to innovate beyond best practices and provides leadership of the WRLC staff to ensure efficient and effective financial, administrative, information technology services, and library services.
The ED creates synergies among the partner universities, providing proactive, responsive, and cost-effective access to shared information resources, services, and expertise. Recent initiatives that support all partners include extensive work in promoting creation and adoption of open educational resources (including partnership with the Open Textbook Library) and exploration of consortia-wide options for controlled digital lending. On-going activities include partnership with the Rosemont Shared Print Alliance, shared collection analysis using Gold Rush, exploration of digital collections platforms, evaluation of collection practices for the WRLC Shared Collections Facility, and investigation of supporting the Sherpa Romeo and Directory of Open Access Journals services. Additional opportunities that would benefit from the ED’s experience include consideration of membership models and levels; evaluating the organization structure and best use of personnel talent; and exploration of library resource vendor arrangements.
The Executive Director should demonstrate understanding of the power of libraries and education to create an inclusive, informed, prosperous, and just society. The Executive Director is supported by a highly experienced team of 18 staff headquartered in Upper Marlboro, Maryland; an engaged Board of Directors and Library Directors Council; and active WRLC committee participation of 600+ library professionals across nine universities. The position currently has three direct reports: Director of Finance and Administration, Director of Information Technology, and Director of Library and User Services. Revenues in fiscal year ending June 2021 were $6.7 million.
In collaboration with the WRLC Board of Directors and the Library Directors Council and the Steering Committee, the ED provides comprehensive strategic and operational leadership for the WRLC, prepares plans and presents recommendations to the Board, coordinates the activities of the Consortium, and directs the employees of the WRLC charged with carrying out the work of the Consortium. The ED’s responsibilities include:
- Lead visioning and future strategic direction and planning for the WRLC, inspiring innovation, creativity, and collaboration among stakeholders on shared initiatives, while appreciating the varied strengths and unique qualities of member institutions.
- Manage the activities of various WRLC boards, committees, and task forces.
- Provide decisive leadership, while be future focused and adaptive to emerging initiatives, technologies, and services.
- Communicate the activities, services, and value of WRLC to diverse stakeholders at partner universities and to outside organizations.
- Build and strengthen relationships with other consortia to create and enhance thought partnerships and opportunities to leverage resources.
- Promote equity, diversity, and inclusion in WRLC’s services, programs, and collections.
- Oversee operations of the Shared Collections Facility located just outside of Washington D.C.
- Develop, plan, and implement assessment activities for WRLC operations and initiatives.
- Maintain a sound financial position through fiscal planning, budget management, strategic prioritization, and negotiating for shared services and resources.
- Provide leadership and management oversight of the WRLC central office staff, in a positive, growth-mindset environment.
While no candidate will bring every qualification desired, the details provided below are representative of the attributes, knowledge, and experience WRLC is seeking for this important hire.
Strategic and Results-Oriented Leadership
Motivated by WRLC’s mission and values for community, vision, equity, inclusion, learning, and innovation the ED will be a strategic and results-oriented leader with a strong track record of progressively responsible leadership experiences. An effective ‘big picture’ strategist, the ED will understand and implement best practices for organizational management, ensuring that overall day-to-day operations are aligned with strategic goals. Moreover, the ED will bring a demonstrated understanding of sound financial management practices and experience developing a robust partnership with a Board. Demonstrated skills in presenting; strong listening and communication skills enabling the ED to engage and influence a breadth of stakeholders.
Operational Leadership Expertise
Experienced in partnering with a Board of Directors and management team to facilitate, influence, and drive decision-making and goal setting, the ED will share their keen analytic, organizational, and problem-solving skills which support and enable sound decision-making and empower others to contribute to the overall success of the WRLC. The ED will have demonstrated the ability to work in a highly collaborative and collegial environment inspiring confidence, respect, and trust, while creating a positive, inclusive, and empowering culture that mentors and invests in talented staff. While maintaining a balance of strategic and operational responsibilities, the ED will ensure that overall operations are aligned with strategic goals. Bringing a broad technology knowledge base and business acumen, the ED must be technology savvy, with the ability to decipher research, data, or information shared with them to make thoughtful and strategic decisions impacting the delivery of services.
Relationship Development and Management
The ED will have the character and confidence to work comfortably in a highly visible role and to interact effectively with a broad range of constituents. Deeply invested in the idea that good ideas can come from anywhere, the ED will be committed to developing a strong working relationship with and across all levels, teams, and member libraries. Engaging and supportive, this individual will be experienced in leading a dynamic and expert staff to meet organizational goals through teamwork and by effectively leveraging individual strengths. Fundamentally, the successful candidate will believe in empowering the staff and maximizing the resources of the Board to drive WRLC with the right focus in the right areas.
Champion for Academic Library Values
The ED will have a deep appreciation and understanding of librarianship, library technologies, and the role of academic libraries in enabling the success of learning, scholarship, and of students and faculty at member universities. A record of experiences in working with existing and emerging information technologies and information management, leveraging them for academic libraries and higher education is essential. With their demonstrated commitment to advancing equity, diversity, and inclusion in libraries and higher education, and adherence to social justice principles they will utilize their organizational and capacity building leadership and ability to engage and energize staff, board members, and member organizations around a clear, shared vision for the future of research libraries.
In addition, candidates will have many of these attributes:
- MLS/MLIS from an ALA-accredited program, or the equivalent combination of a related graduate-level degree and experience in academic libraries or library consortia.
- Project management certification or a record of experience in this area.
- Progressively responsible leadership experience in a nonprofit or academic organization.
- Record of success in securing grants.
Compensation & Benefits
Compensation package is competitive and commensurate with the level of experience.
Beth Schaefer and Marisa Chock of Koya Partners have been exclusively retained for this search. To express your interest in this role please submit your materials here. All inquiries and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.
Koya Partners is committed to providing reasonable accommodation to individuals living with disabilities. If you are a qualified individual living with a disability and need assistance expressing interest online, please email NonprofitSearchOps@divsearch.com. If you are selected for an interview, you will receive additional information regarding how to request an accommodation for the interview process.
The WRLC is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. The WRLC is committed to providing a welcoming, open, safe environment where its partners can work and learn together. Central to the work of the WRLC is the opportunity for people with a variety of experiences and perspectives to collaborate as peers in comfort and safety. Participants in the WRLC community are expected to foster thoughtful and respectful environments where that interaction can take place.
About Koya Partners
Koya Partners, a part of Diversified Search Group, is a leading executive search and strategic advising firm dedicated to connecting exceptionally talented people with mission-driven clients. Our founding philosophy—The Right Person in the Right Place Can Change the World—guides our work as we partner with nonprofits & NGOs, institutions of higher education, responsible businesses, and social enterprises in local communities and around the world.
For more information about Koya Partners, visit www.koyapartners.com.