Have you applied using this site within the last 90 days? You can use your existing application and easily apply again.

Current Job Openings at RAILS

Associate Executive Director (1003)

    • Are you able to adapt to an ever-changing array of organizational challenges and to work with others to find innovative solutions to meet those challenges?
    • Do you thrive on collaboration and working with cross-departmental teams?
    • Are you known for bringing out the best in every team you have ever led?
    • Do you have strong project management skills and the ability to channel strategic vision into concrete plans of action?
    • Are you a strong proponent and advocate for resource sharing between libraries of all types and sizes?

    If you answered yes to all of these questions, have we got an opportunity for you!

    The Reaching Across Illinois Library System (RAILS) has an opening for an Associate Executive Director. We are looking for an energetic, forward-looking individual to provide high-level decision making and leadership and to work in alignment with our Executive Director and Executive Team to build and support an inclusive, member-focused organization. We're also looking for someone with excellent relationship-building skills, flexibility, and a willingness to take risks.

    You'll be joining a team of dedicated, creative, and driven colleagues who are committed to providing the best possible service to our 1,250 libraries of all types across a 27,000 square mile area and to making RAILS the best library system in the country.

    RAILS is committed to fostering, cultivating, and preserving a culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Our human capital is the most valuable asset we have, and this includes our staff. The collective sum of the individual differences, life experiences, knowledge, inventiveness, innovation, self-expression, unique capabilities, and talent is a significant part of not only our culture, but our reputation and organizational achievement as well. It is important for RAILS to âeoemodel best practices in equity, diversity, accessibility, and inclusionâe as stated in Goal Two of the current RAILS Strategic Plan.

    Your responsibilities will include:

    • Provide leadership, guidance, and direction to departments to set goals and objectives and to help analyze and resolve problems
    • Play a significant role in strategic planning and service innovation
    • Provide organizational leadership for process of planning and forming committees and work groups to meet strategic objectives
    • Lead and manage special projects to help meet RAILS member library needs and to anticipate needs libraries may face in the future. Provide updates and reports to stakeholders as appropriate.
    • Work with RAILS staff, RAILS members, the Illinois State Library, the RAILS Board and committees, and other stakeholders to ensure RAILS services and operations are member focused, innovative, efficient, and aligned with the Illinois Library System Act, RAILS policies, the RAILS strategic plan (including vision and mission statements), and other related laws and rules.
    • Represent RAILS at external events and meetings on a statewide and national basis.
    • Initiate outreach activities and form partnerships with member and statewide groups to further RAILSâe(TM) strategic goals. Evaluate and maintain existing outreach and partnership activities as appropriate.

    What you'll need:


    • The successful candidate must have a Master's Degree in Library and Information Science (MLIS)
    • Master's Degree in public or business administration preferred


    • Minimum of five years progressively responsible library management experience or equivalent, with three years at the senior level, including supervision of professional and supervisory staff required
    • Knowledge and experience in directing the daily operations of multiple services/departments and supervising management staff
    • Knowledge and experience working with government agencies affecting libraries
    • Knowledge and experience working with organizations serving all types of libraries
    • Knowledge and experience in strategic planning and budgeting
    • Knowledge and experience in working in highly collaborative environments
    • Knowledge and experience in proactively and positively leading organizational change
    • Experience in working in different sizes and types of libraries (academic, public, school, and specialized) a plus


    • Strong commitment to member-driven multitype library collaboration
    • Ability to interact with people easily, exercise tact, courtesy, and good judgment, and to effectively manage critical or potentially stressful situations
    • Flexibility, a willingness to take risks, the capacity to learn constantly and quickly, and an abiding client service perspective
    • Advanced project management software skills preferred
    • Excellent computer skills in a Microsoft environment required
    • Excellent verbal and written communication skills required
    • Ability to maintain a productive work atmosphere by behaving and communicating in a positive manner with clients and colleagues while achieving performance expectations

    What RAILS Offers:

    • Competitive pay
    • Hybrid work environment
    • A generous benefits package that includes health insurance, a retirement plan through the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF), flexible spending accounts, and paid time off
    • Opportunities for professional development and for participation in professional organizations

    We are an equal opportunity employer and make employment decisions without regard to differences in age, color, disability, ethnicity, family or marital status, gender identity or expression, language, national origin, physical and mental ability, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, veteran status, and other characteristics that make individuals unique.

    37.5 hours per week: Monday - Friday, 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
    $109,578 - $140,000
    Application Deadline:
    Tuesday, April 25th, 2023 at 11:59 pm