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CCLS Director - Announcement

The Board of the Crawford County Library System is seeking a passionate and capable leader for its five-branch Library System. The County Director is responsible for the administration of the system in alignment with the vision and policies of the Board. This is an excellent opportunity for someone eager to work with a great staff and Board in a supportive community of deserving people.

Priority review will be given to applications received by Friday, May 6.

General Job Description
As the primary leader and administrator, the County Director oversees the operations of five branch libraries, each serving similar, yet distinct, communities through the direction of their individual Branch Directors. This is highly responsible administrative work involving the direction of the full scope of public library functions.

Work involves collaboratively developing and managing the public library collection(s) and for the provision of library services to patrons and community organizations in Crawford County, Arkansas. The position is also responsible for managing a $1+ million budget and making the most challenging library decisions. The work requires that the employee have thorough knowledge, skills, and abilities in every phase of the public library field.

This position is also the director of the Van Buren library.

Supervision Received
Works under the administrative direction of the Crawford County Library System Board.

Examples Of Duties

  • Provide annual budget proposal to the Board, administer the Board-approved $1+ million budget; present and defend budget requests before the Library Board and Quorum Court
  • Directly supervise the branch directors, county-level and Van Buren staff
  • Draft and recommend policy to the Library Board; plan for the implementation of public library goals and objectives
  • Evaluate and administer library programs such as circulation, reference, reader's advisory services, children's services, community services, and public information
  • Direct the development and maintenance of a comprehensive public library collection
  • Maintain library buildings, working, as applicable, with appropriate municipal agencies
  • Provide staff support to the Library Board of Directors by assisting with meetings, preparing reports, and implementing policy decided by the Board
  • Work with the County Judge, County Clerk, and County Treasurer to maintain fiscal records and operate following local and state procedures
  • Direct and control the expenditure of funds within the constraints of approved budgets
  • Confer with State agencies, other public libraries, corporations, and community groups in the development of library programs; assist in coordinating interlibrary program efforts
  • Provide reference and reader's advisory services on a regular schedule as practicable
  • Prepare and present various kinds of reports
  • Confer with county and city officials and the general public to provide information and to resolve problems and complaints
  • Provide for the development and training of library staff
  • Direct and participate in personnel actions such as hiring, termination, assignment, evaluation, and labor relations
  • Represent the library on regional and state committees and groups, and serve as the county authority on library issues
  • Develop and sustain community partnerships, raising the visibility of the County Libraries within the public and local communities
  • Coordinate the County Libraries’ development programs with The Crawford County Library System Foundation and in conjunction with the Friends of each branch library

Crawford County
The Crawford County Library System encompasses 696 square miles with the Arkansas River Valley in the south part of the county and the Ozark Mountains in the North.  Van Buren is the largest city and the county seat.  The Van Buren Public Library is also the location of the Crawford County Library System Offices.  The other four libraries in the county - one in each school district - are located in Alma, Cedarville, Mountainburg, and Mulberry.  Crawford County is primarily a rural county but is located just across the Arkansas River from the metropolitan area of Fort Smith.  It is a growing county with business, industry, agriculture and tourism as the main sources of income.  There are plans for an Intermodal Port to be located on the Arkansas River south of Van Buren.  Interstate 40 and Interstate 49 intersect at Alma for quick access to both Little Rock and the Northwest Arkansas Metropolitan areas.

As mentioned above, there are five school districts in the county.  Van Buren and Alma have the largest districts in the county.  Each school district has been recognized for its unique accomplishments in curriculum and staff creativity.  They all have built new buildings in the past few years.

Recreation is very diverse in Crawford County.  There is camping, canoeing, kayaking available on the Mulberry River and Lake Fort Smith.  Hiking the mountainous areas in the county is prevalent.  The Crawford County Fair is held at the Fairgrounds in Mulberry.  Both Alma and Van Buren have a performing arts center connected to their schools.  The centers have top notch performers scheduled throughout the year.  The Center for Arts in Education is in the process of remodeling a historic building on Main Street Van Buren which will be a state of the art space for exhibits, classes and other art activities.  Historic Main Street in Van Buren is a draw for tourists with dining of all sorts and the Scenic Train Excursions leaving for Winslow and Springdale.   Each city has festivals and street fairs at different times.  Both Alma and Van Buren have a Chamber of Commerce.  The Crawford County Speedway located between Cedarville and Van Buren has races during the spring and summer months.  Alma Aquatic Park is a busy place during the summer months offering swimming for all ages, slides, a splash pad and other water devices.

Crawford County and the surrounding areas provide ample opportunities for a high quality of life.



  • Master's Degree in Library and.or Information Science from an ALA  accredited program
  • Five years of progressively responsible full-time library work
  • Residency within Crawford County (upon employment)
  • Proficiency in technology commonly used in public libraries (Integrated Library System, general office applications, collaboration tools, etc.)
  • Strong interpersonal communication skills
  • Knowledge of current trends in public libraries, technology, and community/civic engagement
  • Willingness to speak to media, government officials, and public groups
  • Thorough knowledge of the principles and practices of public library functions
  • Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with superiors, subordinates, associates, officials of other agencies, and the general public


  • Three years’ supervisory experience
  • Experience managing a large, complex budget
  • Proven ability to manage personnel, financial, and materiel resources in an environment of limited resources and competing claims effectively
  • Skill in fundraising and donor development
  • Ability to participate as a colleague within a public library setting
  • Excellent strategic planning skills
  • Experience in community and civic engagement

$50,000 minimum salary, commensurate with qualifications and experience


  • Insurance: paid for employee (Family Insurance available at employee’s cost)
  • Retirement: CCLS employees are members of the APERS (Arkansas Public Employees Retirement System
  • Holidays: 17 paid holidays
  • Sick leave: 8 hours per month (can accrue up to 90 days)
  • Paid Vacation – 1 week after first year, 2 weeks beginning the 3rd year, 3 weeks beginning the 6th year, 4 weeks beginning the 16th year

Position open until filled. For priority review, submit application packet by Friday, May 6.

Send application packet to:
Jamie Balkman, Chair
Crawford County Library Board
3302 Collum Lane
Alma, Arkansas 72921