Portage Lake District Library

Director Search

Portage Lake District Library in Houghton, Michigan, seeks a leader with abundant energy and ideas to serve as its next Director. PLDL, one of the northernmost libraries in Michigan, plays a significant role in a community that has often been listed among the
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Best Small Towns in America. The library serves approximately 11,500 residents who live in the City of Houghton and Portage Charter Township.

About the Library

The Portage Lake District Library provides service to the community through a main library in Houghton. It also manages all operations at the Hancock School Public Library in Hancock High School, as arranged by joint agreement between the library and the school district.

PLDL enjoys engaging with its community through events like the
BIG READ Community Reading project, summer reading programs, and innovative activities such as the Biblio Bistro video series, which focuses on using local, seasonal produce to make healthy and delicious meals. A multigenerational Friends group helps support the library through its fundraising and advocacy work.

The Portage Lake District Library participates in
MeL, a service of the Library of Michigan that provides all Michigan residents with a wide variety of e-resources and and a statewide interlibrary loan system. PLDL is also a member of the Superiorland Library Cooperative, a group of more than 50 public and school libraries that share resources and provide support services to member libraries.

Cropped Shadow box Portage Lake District Library stats

About the Opportunity

The Board of Trustees is looking for an innovative leader to guide the Portage Lake District Library as it continues to enrich, educate, and entertain the community through its services and resources. This is a wonderful opportunity for an "out-of-the-box" thinker who is enthusiastic about leading a community-focused library and taking it to the next level. The position requires someone with a collaborative style of leadership who will embrace their role of inspiring the staff, board and community.

The Director reports to and is advised by an eight member appointed Board of Trustees and will be expected to:

  • Lead by example, with a style that fosters teamwork, establishes trust, and encourages professional development
  • Cultivate community partnerships and be highly visible in the community
  • Nurture an inclusive culture that celebrates the voices and viewpoints of all community members
  • Continue to build upon the library's positive momentum

Qualities of a successful candidate include:
  • Superb customer service skills combined with a passion for public service
  • A forward-thinking mindset plus an openness to change and growth, and the ability to apply strategic thinking while managing daily operations
  • Knowledge of best practices and emerging trends in public librarianship

Additional requirements:
  • Master of Library Science degree or equivalent from an ALA-accredited school
  • Strong financial management and supervisory skills
  • Experience in a public library administrative role. Experience as a Director is not required.

Salary $60,000/year or higher, negotiable based on qualifications and experience. Full benefits. Relocation assistance available.

To apply for this position
, please submit a cover letter, current resume and three professional references using the contact information below. Please include your last name in the title of any attached files and “PLDL” in the subject line of your email.

Questions? We welcome and encourage inquiries. Interviews will be ongoing beginning December 2021.

John Keister & Associates
Executive Search for Libraries


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Our firm is committed to Equal Employment Opportunities, and will not discriminate against any candidate because of race, color, religion, national origin, age, gender, disability, veteran status, or sexual orientation.

Photos courtesy of Portage Lake District Library