Director, Office for Intellectual Freedom
The American Library Association (ALA) is seeking a Director for the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF).
The ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom implements ALA policies on intellectual freedom, embodied in the Library Bill of Rights. This office works with ALA’s Intellectual Freedom Committee (IFC) to recommend, develop and maintain a comprehensive intellectual freedom program for ALA, and to educate librarians, library workers and the public about the nature and importance of intellectual freedom. The OIF also works with ALA’s Committee on Professional Ethics to recommend policies and to assist in the development of education. Activities include providing information to individuals and organizations facing intellectual freedom challenges; planning and promoting initiatives that promote intellectual freedom, privacy and free access to information, including Banned Books Week and developing and implementing other national initiatives. The office also provides liaison to the ALA Intellectual Freedom Round Table.
The Director, ALA OIF, also serves as the Executive Director of the Freedom to Read Foundation (FTRF), an allied 501(c)(3) organization with an elected Board of Directors, that participates in litigation involving freedom of speech and of the press and allocates and disburses grants to individuals and groups for the purpose of aiding them in that litigation. In that capacity, s/he has fiscal and management responsibility, as well as responsibility for advancing the goals, including education and outreach, of the Foundation. ALA OIF is also the secretariat for the LeRoy C. Merritt Humanitarian Fund, which provides support to library workers who are, in the Trustees’ opinion, denied employment rights or discriminated against on the basis of gender, sexual orientation, race, color, creed, religion, age, disability, or place of national origin; or, denied employment rights because of defense of intellectual freedom.
Key Responsibilities Include the Following:
- Principal representative of ALA to organizations that support intellectual freedom, open access to information and privacy, both nationally and internationally
- Operational and fiscal management of ALA/OIF, under the general supervision of the Associate Executive Director, ALA Offices and Member Relations (AOMR)
- Supervision of a full-time staff of three (plus one FTRF staff member) and responsible for an operating budget of approximately $750,000
- Advise on ALA plans and prepare recommendations on priorities, programs and other issues
- Meet regularly with other ALA managers to communicate, cooperate and coordinate OIF activities with those of other ALA units
- Cultivating prospects for fundraising
- There is approximately 35% travel
Key Internal/External Relationships
- Member of Offices and Member Relations Team, including the directors of ALA program offices, program manager for Round Tables and the director of Membership Development & Customer Service
- Critical working relationship with the ALA Washington Office and ALA divisions and collaborate on matters related to the First Amendment, right to privacy and to equity of access
- Partner with civil liberties groups nationwide to create focused advocacy positions and activities
This position is based in Chicago, Illinois. The selected candidate will need to live in the area. A relocation package is available.
Salary: Negotiable from $95,000 based on relevant experience and qualifications. ALA offers a comprehensive and valuable benefits program, plus generous paid vacation and a retirement annuity.
Deadline: Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled.
In addition to sending your resume, you must include a cover letter outlining the strategic value that you will bring to ALA, drawing upon your experiences in advocating for intellectual freedom
Apply online including your cover letter, resume and salary expectations
Send your cover letter, resume and salary expectations to:
American Library Association
Associate Executive Director, Human Resources
Human Resources Department
Ref: Dir OIF
50 E. Huron Street
Chicago, IL 60611
The American Library Association is an equal opportunity employer: Disability/Veteran
- Work within a complex member-staff organization, as well as lead an important external organization, and be an articulate spokesperson
- Work collaboratively with staff and members
- Strong communication skills, including the ability to listen to a broad range of constituents with differing perspectives
- Strategic, innovative, creative, future-oriented thinker
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills with the ability to influence at various levels
- Business acumen
- Ability to form and leverage coalitions, both internally and externally and be a strong advocate for intellectual freedom
- Ability to effectively manage time and projects with multiple competing deadlines Required Education and Experience
- A Master’s degree in Library and Information Science from an ALA-accredited program
- Minimum 10 years of progressively responsible, relevant work experience, including 5 years’ supervisory experience
- Familiarity with public policy formation and law related to intellectual freedom