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Director of Marketing and Online Services, The Seattle Public Library

Who: The Seattle Public Library

Position: Director of Marketing and Online Services

Where: Downtown Seattle

What: The Seattle Public Library is seeking an energetic and progressive individual to serve as Director of Marketing and Online Services. This individual will work in partnership with the Leadership Team to fulfill the Library’s Strategic Plan by providing direction, oversight, and management and leading innovation efforts for the Library’s marketing of Library programs and services online services and web presence.

The Director of Marketing and Online Services reports to the City Librarian and is responsible for a new division including the Library’s online (virtual) services development, website development and maintenance, social media, online and print marketing and marketing research studies. All of these functional areas of responsibility will have equal importance, and the Director will oversee and manage them with the same attention to quality and overall performance. A total of 6 employees (FTE) will work in the division; the division’s operating budget will be over $800,000.

The Director of Marketing and Online Services will strategically respond to the rapid growth in the availability of online (virtual) services, web presence and social media, and supporting library patrons needs through access to the Library’s web site.  In addition to possessing knowledge and connections in emerging technologies, this will require knowledge of the challenges urban libraries face in responding to this change in service delivery in providing library patrons access to a vast range of media resources.

The Director of Marketing and Online Services will partner with the Director of Library Programs and Services and Director of Information Technology to foster a public service environment that harnesses technology and staff creativity to deliver information services when and where customers want them. Key Library priorities include:  supporting intellectual freedom; promoting literacy and a love of reading; protecting confidentiality of patron records; respecting and embracing the community; fostering a healthy democracy; supporting children and youth; forming strong partnerships and adapting and innovating to stay relevant.


  • Provide visionary marketing leadership to leverage the promotion of the Library’s Strategic Plan. Develop and promote the Library’s positioning nationally as an innovative and creative leader with other library systems and the library profession. Develop and implement effective brand identity and imaging strategies for the Library; oversee creation of all brand-right marketing collateral.
  • Work with the City Librarian and other members of the Leadership Team to develop and oversee an effective short and long-term marketing plan to drive forward library services and key objectives, including brand and organizational identity along with the Library’s internal and external strategic message development. Oversee and/or directly participate in the implementation of the plan.  Coordinate marketing-related activities using a cross-divisional approach.
  • Develop, produce, distribute and promote marketing techniques and materials that contribute to staff and public awareness of Library services and Strategic Plan/Service Priorities and enhance public opinion of the Library.   Monitor and evaluate marketing materials and modify as required to achieve marketing objectives.  Oversee and/or directly write copy for marketing articles and other marketing materials reflecting key messages, features and benefits.  Direct and oversee staff engaged in online and print graphic design and development, including leaflets, posters and flyers, with visual impact and within brand guidelines.
  • Assume responsibility for marketing and user studies and analysis of customer and business data, including setting objectives, conducting analyses, recommending effective strategies, and reporting results.   Oversee or conduct user interviews and focus groups.  Oversee Library staff and/or external resources engaged in market research and analysis; directly participate in these activities as needed.
  • Promote and advocate for the Library to reach new users and promote core services. Actively engage in and support the development of strategies to reach distinctive audiences, and the evaluation of services that respond to the changing needs of patrons.
  • Attend and oversee the promotion of events and exhibits; attend meetings with various community and governmental groups to promote the Library.  Maximize visibility of Library at various local and national library and public conferences and events, including development of targeted products and literature.
  • Coordinate division activities with Communications Office to ensure maximum effectiveness of marketing strategies, external and internal messaging and communications, media relations, and broad-based community awareness of the Library system.
  • Create and nurture strategic partnerships with community agencies and organizations to deliver effective and relevant programs, services and events.  Represent the division to community groups and local elected officials.   Develop effective partnerships and collaborative working relationships in conjunction with Assistant Director of Community Partnerships and Government Relations.  Represent the needs of users.  Present to local, state and national meetings and conferences.
  • Set vision for online service delivery and co-lead innovative and positive service delivery process improvements in partnership with Director of Library Programs and Services and Director of Information Technology.
  • Recommend strategic service directions that leverage the Library’s application of emerging library trends, technology and service development opportunities geared toward end users.  Develop new ideas for reaching end user markets using the latest in electronic technologies.
  • Provide visionary leadership to leverage the Library’s use of social media, including recommendation and implementation of effective strategies. Oversee the active monitoring of patron interactions via social community sites and community-based file sharing sites, and other emerging mechanisms. Oversee and/or directly participate in the training of library staff engaged in social media initiatives, projects and activities.  Directly supervise the social media team.
  • Oversee the development and maintenance of the Library’s web site using up-to-date web techniques and tools, including design and maintenance of web content and oversight and coordination of the work of vendors and contractors.  Direct, oversee and supervise Library staff engaged in web content related initiatives, projects and activities. Oversee and/or directly establish standards, methods and technical specifications for the development and maintenance of staff-generated digital content.  Conduct evaluations of the Library web site’s effectiveness, including solicitation of internal and external user satisfaction feedback and implement necessary improvements.  Directly supervise Library staff involved in web site development and maintenance activities, including web manager, web content editor and web developer/designer.
  • Initiate a cross-divisional approach with other members of the Leadership Team to explore and implement online technology-based services.
  • Make recommendations to the City Librarian on operational issues affecting online services, the Library’s web site and marketing functions.
  • Sets performance measurements for direct reports and holds them accountable.  Evaluate division performance and operating results, and initiate changes as required.
  • Support the labor-management partnership by working collaboratively with the Union on labor strategy and proactive resolution of issues.
  • Direct, supervise, evaluate and develop assigned staff.  Recruit, develop, supervise and mentor of subordinate employees.
  • Contribute to the development and oversee implementation of Library policies and procedures for the division.
  • Direct and monitor the development of the division’s operating budget and oversee expenditures; allocate and reallocate resources as needed.  Provide guidance in the development of long-range forecasts for staffing resources and budget expenditures; develop strategic operating budget plans to meet short- and long-range objectives.


The ideal candidate will:

  • Have hands-on knowledge of marketing strategies and development of marketing content; the internet, mobile and other interactive technologies; and experience with website design and management.  Particular emphasis is on understanding and translating user needs into functional online service strategies and for new online service requirements.
  • Possess knowledge of the relevant technologies in public libraries.
  • Stay up-to-date on the latest social media tools, applications and features, and contribute content and personality to create a dynamic web presence and marketing program.
  • Use blogs, webinars, email communications, phone interactions, social networks, and presentations to facilitate effective communications about online services, web site and marketing program.
  • Be organized and will thrive in a fast-paced environment.  He or she will successfully balance the management of internal staff and vendors and will be enthusiastic, diplomatic, determined and quick witted.
  • Adapt well to a small team and will possess the ability to simultaneously direct, oversee, manage, and perform hands-on work in all assigned functional areas.
  • Serve as an active thought leader and advocate for effective integration of online and physical service delivery with other Library directors.
  • Recognize and understand the culture of the organization.
  • Be future oriented, can articulate the vision of possibilities and the likelihood of their successes.
  • Be skilled at judging which ideas and suggestions will work and bring them to market.  Can manage the creative processes of others.
  • Be able to relate well and build appropriate rapport and relationships with a variety of people in all levels of the organization, as well as people outside the organization.  Use diplomacy and tact and can diffuse even high tension situations comfortably.


  • At least seven years of experience in marketing strategy and research, internet strategy and web design and development, online services, and, preferably in a large, urban, business, corporate, retail, or information industry.   Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited college or university in Marketing, Communications, Journalism or related field is preferred.
  • Previous experience supervising staff directly performing work in market research, online services, web site design and maintenance.
  • Ability to actively cultivate new professional connections within library profession and have existing extensive professional network of experts in the field of Internet, social media and emerging technologies.
  • Ability to demonstrate vision, strategic thinking, collaboration and inclusive leadership skills; flexibility and adaptability; and a willingness to embrace and drive change initiatives.  Ability to be intellectually engaging with strong interpersonal, communication and advocacy skills.
  • Ability to influence others, negotiate to a successful resolution, and engage in effective problem solving.  Ability to recognize and set priorities, and to use initiative and independent management decision-making.
  • Ability to organize, direct, motivate and evaluate assigned staff; ability to mentor others and foster a team environment.
  • Knowledge of, and proven experience applying, effective management practices and principles including human resource administration, budget development and fiscal administration, strategic planning, and project management.
  • Knowledge of public libraries and their role within a community, with particular emphasis on the Library’s role in Intellectual Freedom is preferred.
  • Excellent communication, public speaking and presentation skills are essential.
  • A sense of humor and a positive and enthusiastic approach to public service and library leadership.
  • A passion for learning and a love of reading.

Contact: To be considered for this vacancy, candidates must submit an application via this bulletin and include, in Word or PDF files, a letter of interest, resume and a list of three references as attachments by 5:00 p.m., January 18, 2013. Apply online here.