Download the PrairieCat_LLSAP_Service_Mgr_Brochure
First consideration will be given to applications received by 9/7/2015. Please scroll to bottom of page for application instructions.
RAILS Consortium Manager – PrairieCat
Are you ready to lead a library technology organization into the future? Reaching Across Illinois Library System (RAILS) is seeking a manager for the PrairieCat Local Library System Automation Program (LLSAP).
Are you an excellent communicator? Do you understand libraries? Do you love the excitement of bringing new technology solutions to life? Are you knowledgeable about the power, potentials—and the pitfalls—of a shared integrated library system (ILS)? Do you enjoy working with exceptional libraries to serve communities? Then this position is for you!
We are looking for a dynamic leader who understands library technology, has a heart for service, a vision for collaboration, and who approaches each day with a sense of fun and possibilities.
For the full job description, please see below.
About PrairieCat and RAILS
The PrairieCat consortium is member of the RAILS family, providing shared library automation services for 126 libraries in Illinois, with offices located in the Chicagoland and Quad Cities areas. The new PrairieCat LLSAP manager will have an opportunity to choose office space that offers the best operations and services for members and staff.
By sharing the cost of the ILS (Innovative’s Sierra) central site equipment, computer and database maintenance staff, and telecommunications, libraries of all sizes (including public, academic, school and special) have found it possible to join the consortium and to realize the advantages of automated resource sharing.
PrairieCat’s mission is to engage members in sharing resources effectively and equitably, expanding the quality and quantity of information accessible to our library users.
- Cooperation—We strive to share member resources as effectively and economically as possible.
- Diversity—We value and respect the contributions of others who have talents and abilities, constraints and opportunities that are different than our own, and strive to provide equal footing for libraries of all types and sizes.
- Responsiveness—We strive to provide excellent services by focusing on the needs and wants of our customers.
- Engagement—We value collaborative members with involved, well-trained, competent staff.
- Access—We strive for an effective, well-maintained catalog supporting strong member collections.
- Relevance—We support libraries in making a value-added impact in their communities through shared services and innovation.
- Excellence—We work to sustain a consortium that leverages our size to the benefit of the members, and provides the appropriate resources, leadership and services in pursuit of excellent library service.
For more about PrairieCat and its members, please visit: https://support.prairiecat.info/
The Reaching Across Illinois Library System (RAILS) is one of two multitype regional library systems in the state. The membership of RAILS includes academic, public, school, and special libraries.
RAILS provides delivery service to support Illinois’ vast interlibrary loan program, technology support for more than 600 libraries’ shared online catalogs, consulting and continuing education, management and support of a shared e-book collection, group purchases, and Talking Book Services that serve persons with visual or physical disabilities who cannot read conventional print material.
The RAILS service area covers northern and western Illinois. The system serves more than 1,300 private, public, school, and university library members, representing more than 4,200 library facilities in a 27,000 square mile area. Although the city of Chicago is within RAILS’ boundaries, and a number of RAILS member libraries are located in Chicago, the Chicago Public Library constitutes a separate library system.
For more about RAILS, please visit: https://www.railslibraries.info/
RAILS is a place where professionals thrive and flourish—with boundless opportunities to lead positive change in libraries with a group of like-minded leaders and team players who together are defining what modern libraries are capable of delivering.
“We have the opportunity to take risks in a safe environment where leadership encourages risk-taking. Those risks help us serve libraries better. I’ve worked in other environments and RAILS offers the best opportunity there is to both serve members and grow as a professional. We have a commitment as an organization to be the best library system and that shows every day.”
-Veronda Pitchford, Director, Membership Development and Resource Sharing
“At RAILS I feel more connected to libraries now than I did when I was just working in a single library. I feel like sometimes working directly in the library you get a myopic view of your specific area of expertise or department, versus the broad view offered by RAILS.
RAILS is also a place of connections—not just growing your network in the state, but also nationally. I’ve made so many connections—much more than I could have made in a single library.”
-Joe Filapek, Consulting and Continuing Education Manager
“The standards of excellence are high, and we’re supported in reaching them. The best part of working at RAILS is being able to have an impact on a lot of libraries and to be involved in the library community as a whole.”
-Anne Slaughter, Director of Technology Services
“The PrairieCat staff are a fun group of technical and library professionals. We enjoy helping our members get the most out of our automated services, whether it be training, troubleshooting or just being someone to bounce an idea off of.
We’re a multi-type system, so there’s a lot of exposure to different environments and cultures. This provides its own challenges to be sure, but our member libraries are amazing to work with.”
– Ron Chesko, PrairieCat Technology Services Coordinator
About the Area
RAILS serves member libraries in northern and western Illinois. Residents enjoy a convenient commute by car or public transportation to Chicago, district, numerous cultural and historic attractions, and a host of popular dining and nightlife establishments.
Arts and Cultural Attractions
Anderson Japanese Gardens, Rockford – 12 acre award winning landscape. Named one of the highest quality Japanese gardens in North America by Sukiya Living Magazine since 2004.
Bishop Hill, IL. – a National Landmark Village, listed in the National Register of Historic Places, and an Illinois State Historic Site. This once-bustling 19th century settlement features museums, art galleries, eateries, and gift shops.
Black Hawk State Historic Site, Rock Island – This wooded, steeply rolling 208-acre tract, borders the Rock River in the city of Rock Island. Voted one of the “7 Wonders of Illinois.”
Figge Art Museum, Davenport, IA – a landmark glass building on the banks of the Mississippi. Home to one of the Midwest’s finest art collections. Hosts world-class traveling exhibitions. Art classes, lectures, and special events attract visitors of all ages.
Galena’s historic Main Street – named “Best Main Street in the Midwest” by Midwest Living magazine. Features historic buildings, boutiques, art galleries, restaurants, and scenic views.
John Deere Pavilion, Moline – Features interactive, hands-on exhibits, films, and displays of equipment, both past and present.
Putnam Museum, Davenport, IA – this museum of history and natural science provides unique, immersive, hands-on learning experiences to 150,000 visitors annually.
Starved Rock State Park, La Salle County , IL – one of Illinois’ most beautiful destinations. The park’s 18 canyons feature vertical walls of moss-covered stone formed by glacial meltwater that slice dramatically through tree-covered sandstone bluffs.
Ulysses S. Grant Home State Historic Site, Galena. Fully restored to 1860s time period. Contains many of Grant’s personal belongings and original furnishings.
POSITION DESCRIPTION: RAILS Consortium Manager – PrairieCat
Competitive salary, commensurate with experience. Excellent benefits.
Position Title: LLSAP Services Manager
Lead the operation and development of a Local Library System Automation Program (LLSAP) hosted by RAILS. Work with RAILS staff, LLSAP system members, and other organizations to enhance library resource sharing and services to end users within Illinois.
Core Job Functions:
- Work closely with the Director, Technology Services and other RAILS staff on planning, improving, communicating, and implementing services to LLSAP members
- Work collaboratively with other RAILS staff and with other consortia to increase cooperation and contribute to effective and efficient resource sharing within Illinois
- Serve on the RAILS leadership team and contribute to strategic discussions and projects affecting RAILS and the LLSAPs
- Lead the operation and development of the LLSAP. Plan, administer, evaluate, develop, and direct the LLSAP operation to provide and improve services to the members
- Work with the LLSAP’s governing bodies and associated committees to provide leadership and make recommendations for expanding services and membership
- Communicate regularly with LLSAP members through meetings, email, and other forms of communication
- Develop and administer the LLSAP budget under the direction of LLSAP governance, including:
- Recommending expenditures and charges, including those billed to LLSAP members
- Approving purchase orders (e.g. hardware, software, equipment), arranging financing, and monitoring income and expenditures
- Developing, recommending, and implementing fees charged to members for local automation program services
- Planning for major expenses, such as migration to another software system, and for the long-term financial viability of the LLSAP
- Market LLSAP membership to potential new members. Work with new members to bring them into the LLSAP
- Recruit, interview, select, train, supervise, and evaluate direct reports
- Ensure LLSAP hardware and software are maintained and adequately backed up. Oversee upgrades to servers and software, working in cooperation with technology services staff and vendors
- Ensure appropriate handling of training, database quality, agency setups, software and connectivity matters, and security issues related to the LLSAP
- Oversee the maintenance of automation-related statistics and member profiles
- Attend conferences and workshops to maintain current awareness of emerging technologies and software enhancements. Represent the LLSAP at regional, state, and national forums in the areas of technology
- Other duties as assigned
Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:
- Bachelor’s degree required; master’s degree in library science highly preferred
- Minimum 3 years experience with library-related automation required; experience in a consortial environment strongly preferred
- Minimum 3 years supervisory experience
- Experience supervising staff members and coaching for peak performance
- Experience preparing and presenting workshops and/or training sessions
- Experience demonstrating a collaborative approach to problem solving with an emphasis on building consensus, relationships, and results
- Knowledge of library technology, terminology, and procedures
- Knowledge of association management and member relations management
- Demonstrated leadership ability
- Ability to plan and coordinate the work of others, including but not limited to staff, library boards, administrators, and vendors
- Ability to analyze data to clarify needs or problems
- Ability to exercise initiative, practice good judgment, and recommend solutions to challenges and enhancements to services or processes
- Ability to establish and maintain cooperative, effective working relationships with fellow employees, member library staff, and other public constituents
- Ability to communicate effectively both orally and in writing
- Ability to maintain a productive work atmosphere by behaving and communicating in a positive manner with clients and colleagues while achieving performance expectations
Working Conditions and Physical Requirements –
- Comfortable office working environment
- Ability to communicate in person via phone, videoconference, and email
- Must have a valid Illinois driver’s license with a clean driving record
- Frequent travel within the consortium’s service area, with occasional statewide travel. Some evening and weekend work may be required, with occasional overnight travel
- Must be able to input data, read computer screens and printer material, type, file, and operate office equipment
- Primarily sedentary work, but also requires standing, walking, stopping or crouching, kneeling, reaching, pushing, grasping, lifting, feeling, hearing and talking
How to Apply
First consideration will be given to applications received by 9/7/2015. The position will remain open until filled.
If you are interested in this position, please submit (via email or upload link) a resume, cover letter, and contact information for a minimum of three references. If using email, please use “RAILS Position Application” as your subject line.
Carson Block, Library Technology Consultant
email: librarylandtech -<at>- gmail.com