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Library Director Cover Letter Sample

Library Director Cover Letter

Library Directors are responsible for coordinating daily activities in a library. They can be the only employee in the library or they can oversee a staff of dozens or even hundreds, depending on the library size. Essential job duties of a Library Director are organizing community events, ensuring a high quality of library services, supervising daily operations, recruiting and training staff, assisting patrons, finding ways to improve library facilities, preparing budgets, monitoring expenses, negotiating contracts for services, and opening and closing the library.

Essential job requirements seen on a Library Director cover letter sample are:

  • Library management expertise
  • Leadership
  • Problem solving orientation
  • Customer service skills
  • Attention to details and accuracy
  • Computer competences
  • Initiative and decision making
  • Effective verbal and written communication
  • Budgeting skills
  • Administrative skills
  • An interest in serving the library user community

Below is displayed a cover letter example for Library Director demonstrating similar job skills and experience.

For help with your resume, check out our extensive Library Director Resume Samples.

Dear Mr. Decicco:

Upon review of your posting for a new Library Director, I hastened to submit the enclosed resume for your consideration. As a highly skilled, educated, and dedicated professional with more than 13 years of management experience in library services, I feel confident in my ability to exceed your expectations for this role.

My background spans excellent experience overseeing daily operations, staff, member services, community events, budgeting, and policy development for the Clarkson County Library as its Library Director for the past 10 years. With my successful history of optimizing patron experiences across areas such as research and information acquisition, materials location, and collections—along with my superior interpersonal and organization skills—I am ready to extend my record of excellence with the Astoria Public Library in this capacity.

Highlights of my experience include the following:

  • Holding full responsibility for all library operations encompassing long-term planning, budgeting, administration, volunteer and staff recruitment, and IT/computer equipment maintenance.
  • Providing comprehensive leadership across various library service areas such as reference desk support, circulation, collection development, interlibrary loans, bibliographic support, and library instruction.
  • Designing and introducing 12 new Children and Adult Literacy programs at the Clarkson County Library to advance reading skills of participants and encourage a lifelong love of reading.
  • Increasing the rate of return for the library’s annual donation drive by 44%.
  • Writing and obtaining a $30,000 grant to facilitate significant structural and roof repairs.
  • Coordinating and executing numerous community-facing events to boost library’s public image, participation, and membership.
  • Compiled data and prepared reports pertaining to physical facilities, collections, programs, and general activities for city and state review.
  • Earning an MSLS degree in 2006 from Willamette University.

With my track record of success directing comprehensive library operations and services, combined with my passion for the wealth of information and learning potential that libraries have to offer, I am positioned to significantly benefit the Astoria Public Library. I look forward to discussing my qualifications in more detail.

Thank you for your consideration.

Andrea A. Bishop

After being on the interviewing side of things last year, it was nice to be on the hiring side this year. I recently reviewed cover letters and resumes for a search and screen committee at my academic library. At times, I wanted to do a “cover letter intervention” (perhaps, a new reality TV show?)!

This spring, I blogged about cover letters, resumes, and interviews. Also, Jenica Rogers on her Attempting Elegance blog had a must-read post on The Torment of Terrible Cover Letters. I would also encourage anyone applying for librarian positions to look at Stephen X. Flynn’s Open Cover Letters website for ideas.

Throughout the process of reading cover letters and resumes, here is the most disconcerting thing I observed:

You write well. I can tell you are intelligent. You may even have an advanced degree beyond the MLS. But your cover letter does not address the points highlighted in the job ad. Therefore, you will not make the cut.

It’s a simple as that. For all the advice out there on tailoring your cover letter, there are plenty of applicants that do not. Don’t set yourself up for failure. Tailor your cover letter!

Cover letter & resume advice:

  • If applying via email, do not write your cover letter in the body of the email. Use attachments. Or more to the point: you should follow the directions stated in the job ad.
  • Am I the only one that doesn’t like cover letters in bullet point format? I need to asses your communication skills through your cover letter. To me, a bullet point cover letter is a cop-out. I want paragraphs!
  • In regards to paragraphs: Your cover letter should not be just one short paragraph.
  • Don’t rattle off your job duties in your cover letter. That’s what the resume is for. Instead, use the cover letter to provide examples and anecdotes that relate to the position that you are applying for:

Case in point: if you’re applying for a  children’s librarian position, your resume might list doing “story times” as one of your responsibilities. However, you could use the cover letter to highlight some sort of innovative program you did with story time. Or if you are an academic instruction librarian, your resume might list “assessment” as one of your activities. You could then use the resume to spotlight a special assessment technique you implemented with students.

  • Don’t shoot yourself in the foot by writing: “I don’t have experience in…” Instead, turn it around and explain how you have transferable or related experience.
  • Appearance: pick a standard font. I would stay away from Courier–it looks like a typewriter–and it’s 2011, folks!
  • It’s OK if the cover letter goes onto a second page (which is sometimes a no-no in the business world). I prefer this over an 9-point font cover letter with half-inch margins! But if you go over 2 pages, I tend to wonder if you have problems “getting to the point.” 🙂
  • Make sure your cover letter and resume looks “clean” in overall appearance – I’ve seen some that look like they have been scanned in and saved electronically. They can be difficult to read.
  • I know you are wonderful, amazing, etc… But I always appreciate a cover letter that addresses my library and its needs/mission. Do your homework. Look over the library website and any parent website (university, school, local government, etc…).
  • Use common sense: Do not write, “I have experience with personal computers.” You are a librarian; having experience with personal computers is UNDERSTOOD!
  • Use “action” words on your resume (e.g., designed, implemented, initiated, managed). Google it! You’re a librarian.
  • Remember: There’s a fine line between promoting your abilities and overstating your qualifications. Be careful! Overstating your qualifications will become apparent in a subsequent interview.

So what do we do with all of these cover letters and resumes? At my place of work–a state institution (and I’m sure it’s the same with most private institutions, too), we have a strict set of protocols to follow. We use an Application Review Form that lists all of the criteria that were included in the job posting. The search and screen committee then rates each cover letter/resume based on EACH of the criterion using a scale: below average – average – above average – can’t assess.

The applicants who rank the highest are the ones that make it to the next stage of the interview process. This is why it’s so vital to use your cover letter and resume to address the various points highlighted in a job ad. So what other cover letter and resume advice would you suggest? Let me know!

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Standard | Posted in Academic Libraries, Job Hunting, Librarians, Library School | Tagged academic library, career, cover letter, hiring, job, job hunting, librarians, library, MLS, resume, search committee |

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