Skip to Main Content

Trustee Support Resources

What Does a Library Director Do?

The library director is entirely responsible for library operations including staff hiring and supervision, interpreting policies to staff, and achieving the goals of the library’s plan. Each library board should seek a director with qualities, strengths, and professional background that meet the library's current circumstances, plans, and needs. The professional knowledge gained while earning a master’s degree in library and information science, or its equivalent, from an ALA-accredited program, combined with several years of experience working in the field, will equip librarians with the skills they need to fulfill their responsibilities as directors.

In addition, RCW 27.04.055 sets forth qualifications for librarians working in the state of Washington:

“No library serving a community having over four thousand population, nor any library operated by the state or under its authority, may have in its employ, in the position of librarian or in any other full-time professional library position, a person who does not hold a librarian's certificate issued by the state librarian or its predecessor. A full-time professional library position is one that requires, in the opinion of the state librarian, a knowledge of information resources and library/information service delivery equivalent to that required for graduation from an accredited library education program. This section does not apply to the state law library or to county law libraries. The state librarian shall:

  1. Establish rules for, and prescribe and hold examinations to test, the qualifications of those seeking certificates as librarians.
  2. Grant librarians' certificates without examination to applicants who are graduates of library schools programs accredited or otherwise officially recognized by the American library association for general library training, and grant certificates to other applicants when it has satisfied itself by examination that the applicant has attainments and abilities equivalent to those of a graduate of a library school program accredited or otherwise officially recognized by the American library association; and
  3. Charge a fee to recover the costs associated with the application to be paid by each applicant for a librarian's certificate. Money paid as fees shall be retained by the state library as a recovery of costs.

The Washington State Library provides additional information on their Certification of Librarians page.