It’s almost spring and a not-so-young librarian’s fancy turns to reading ads for library directors’ positions on a variety of listservs. After some-ten odd years in this profession, I’m beginning to sense a pattern in the position descriptions:
DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES: Responsible for the operation of a library district that includes a spiffy regional library that went waaay over budget and ten branch libraries, including a one-room closet that’s run by a burned-out children’s librarian who snapped and decided to create her “private” space by using duct tape to mark off invisible walls around her desk….
Coordinates and develops a print and non-print collection with the assistance of staff and whipped-up county supervisors who get their chains regularly yanked by one frazzled soccer-mom in an Escalade incensed over the discovery that the library has copies on Captain Underpants on the shelves.
Manages a $10 million annual budget and personally certifies all expenditures, down to the last rubber band and tube of red ink. Compiles statistics of the library system’s activities including teen/full-text access whine ratios. Organizes in-house training programs on diplomatically prodding snoring homeless guys.
QUALIFICATIONS: The successful candidate must have an ALA-accredited MLS degree from any library school that still survives. Superior oral/written communication abilities including ten years of demonstrated extra-sensory perception. Must be able to pump out toilets and stomachs. Must demonstrate the ability to spin plates to Khachaturian‘s Sabre Dance while