Library Director, Peterborough Town Library, Peterborough NH


The Peterborough Town Library, established in 1833, is the oldest free public library in the world supported by taxation. The library was created on the principle that the public library, like the public school, was deserving of maintenance by public taxation and should be owned and managed by the people of the community, and thereby freed from dependence on private generosity. Since its founding, the library has been an integral part of the town's identity.

The Town of Peterborough (aka "Our Town" as written by playwright Thornton Wilder) is situated in the Monadnock Region and is home to the MacDowell Colony. Founded in 1907 by Edward and Marian MacDowell, it is the nation's leading artist colony. The town is also home to The Peterborough Players, a first-class summer theater established in 1933. There is an active historical society as well as art museums and shops. Peterborough has top-notch recreation facilities, parks and schools, State Parks (including Miller State Park, the first in New Hampshire), town-owned lands with beautiful views, and a trail network that runs through hills and valleys.

Peterborough is home to New Hampshire Ball Bearings, Peterboro Basket Co., Monadnock Community Hospital, Eastern Mountain Sports, RiverMead Retirement Community, Staff Development for Educators, and Pheasantwood Center, among others. But Peterborough's most important asset, above all, is the people who live here. A civic minded, eclectic community of more than 6,000, Peterborough has a mixture of long-time residents and newcomers from around the country who are drawn to the town's vibrancy, beauty and sense of community.



The Peterborough Town Library has served the community well for more than 180 years. While community members enjoy a high level of library services today, the facility itself is showing its age. In 2010, the 1833 Society was formed to raise, through private donations and grants, sufficient funds to finance a major library upgrade, and to assist with the design and construction of a revitalized and updated facility.


The new library director will play an important role in this transformation. Library trustees are seeking a director who can continue to move the library, in methodology and mind set, into the 21st Century. This is an opportunity to help create a vibrant library for the future - one with updated resources, engaging programming and user-focused services. The director must be responsive to the needs of the capital campaign conducted by the 1833 Society by serving as a spokesperson, expert witness, public face and promoter of the new library. This requires someone with a passion for the purpose and potential of the library, a visionary and collaborative leader with strong relationship-building skills.

The director will need to develop a structure and process for on-going fundraising, including legacy giving, to complement taxpayer and trust support. This requires a strategic thinker and planner, with flexibility and foresight - one who can bring enthusiasm and a sense of humor to the task at hand.


Under general direction of the Board of Trustees, the director is responsible for planning, organizing, directing, and managing all aspects of the library in conformity with the policies established by the trustees, with other town policies, and with state and municipal laws and regulations. The library director is responsible for enhancing the profile of the library throughout the Peterborough community.




The library director reports to the Board of Trustees and provides support to the board by assisting and working with the board chair in preparing the agenda for board meetings. The director is responsible for keeping the library board informed of issues and problems relating to the library, for assisting in and promoting the continuing education of board members, and for helping to orient new board members. The director assists the library board in the development of the library's annual budget and in justifying the budget to town officials. The director recommends new and revised library policies to the board, brings issues facing the library to the attention of the board and presents options and recommendations for dealing with those issues.

The director is expected to work collaboratively, not only with trustees, but also with town officials, community groups and other libraries and cultural institutions. The director prepares and maintains a variety of records, reports, correspondence and detailed memoranda about a wide variety of issues for board members, town administrators, and other town boards and commissions.



The library director leads the development and implementation of a variety of services designed to meet the needs of a diverse public in a high quality, cost-effective manner. The director will operate the library under a philosophy of service that puts the needs of library users first and ensures that all staff members respond to those needs in a positive, helpful, and friendly manner. The director oversees the lending of a wide variety of materials to users of all ages, reference and information services, public programming, and access to electronic information. The director will ensure that library services are designed to be accessible to everyone in the community including individuals with disabilities.



The director leads the selection of a collection of library materials that meets the needs of a diverse public and is based on a collection development policy approved by the library's board of trustees. The director reviews the collection development policy regularly with the library board to ensure that it is current. The director oversees or participates in the acquisition, processing, cataloging, circulation and weeding of library materials. The director oversees the sharing of materials with other libraries in the region and in the state through interlibrary loan.



The director is responsible for the hiring and supervision of library employees and volunteers and the enforcement of human resource policies established by the library board and the Town of Peterborough. This includes the evaluation and disciplining of employees if necessary. The director will carry out all human resource functions in compliance with state and federal laws. The director is responsible for training library staff members and facilitating their continuing library education.



Annually, the director works with the chair of the Board of Trustees in developing an initial budget for the next fiscal year (July 1- June 30) and presents that budget for consideration to the library board. The director assists in the presentation of the library's budget to the town. The director manages the library's finances so that expenditures stay within the approved budget. The director submits to the trustees a monthly list of checks written and to whom, and a monthly budgetary review, which are prepared using the town's financial software. The director reports on the library's financial position in the library's annual report to the N.H. State Library. The director manages revenue received on behalf of the library in the form of fines, fees, state and federal grants, and trust funds.



The director is responsible for the initial development of policies for consideration by the library board, for creating procedures to administer these policies effectively and efficiently, for ensuring policies and procedures are up-to-date and are in compliance with local, state, and federal laws, and in the public's interest.



The director will participate in strategic planning process regarding the future of the library, by being actively involved with the library board, the 1833 Society and the greater library community. The director is expected to advocate for and promote the library, stay informed of what is happening, and be active in the community. This may include serving on community committees, presenting before business groups, patrons and donors and seeking and securing grants, donations and other contributions to the library's programs from external sources. The director will display a willingness to represent the library at night and weekend events.



The director is responsible for overseeing the maintenance of the library facility and grounds and for identifying problems and needs relating to the library facility and its grounds and to bring these to the attention of the library board and the town.


  • The director will perform other related duties as required.



  • An M.L.S. and at least 5 to 7 years of experience in the administration of a public library, or related relevant experience, are required;
  • Demonstrated knowledge of innovative resources, programs, and services available to public libraries and a commitment to the mission and philosophy of public library service;
  • Familiarity and proficiency with technology and how it can support the library of the future, is essential;
  • Ability to write press releases and promote the library through social media;
  • Knowledge of library funding, reporting procedures and N.H. library laws and regulations;
  • Strong written and oral communication skills and the capacity to project a positive public image and to make effective public presentations.
  • Fundraising experience is a plus.



  • A positive and enthusiastic individual, open to growth for themselves and the library;
  • Excellent leadership and interpersonal skills with the ability to attract and motivate library staff and volunteers;
  • Ability to network in the professional community and bring best practice to Peterborough;
  • Demonstrated initiative and self-direction skills;
  • Curiosity and a good listener, with an ability to "hear" from others;
  • Ability to convey the importance of the accessibility of programs and services to all demographic groups services (teens, young adults, seniors, etc.).






Mid-June 2014



Residence is preferred, but will not be required of the successful candidate.



Please send resume, cover letter and references to Marcia Patten, president of the Board of Trustees, at by Jan. 31.

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