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Director, Office for Diversity, Literacy and Outreach Services (ODLOS)

American Library Association
Illinois, United States
Salary Commensurate with experience
Closing date
Dec 12, 2020

View more

Position Type
Programs, Other Programs, Administrative, Other Administrative
Other Fields
Employment Type
Full Time
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The American Library Association is seeking a Director for the Office for Diversity, Literacy and Outreach Services (ODLOS).

ODLOS drives and supports activities around three focus areas which collectively support equity and inclusion through a lens of social justice as fundamental values of the Association: diversity, literacy and outreach to underserved populations.   Relationships and major initiatives across these three areas help ensure the inclusion of diverse perspectives within the profession and the Association and support equitable access to information.  Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) is also a strategic direction for ALA.

Key Responsibilities:

  • The Director of the ALA Office for Diversity, Literacy & Outreach Services (ODLOS) has both an external and internal leadership responsibility.
  • Principal representative of ALA to individuals and institutions addressing diversity (through recruitment, education and professional development, and organizational change), equity of access, and adult and family literacy.
  • The Director supervises a staff of 5 FTE and a total budget of $425,488 (excluding grants), plus several grant programs and special projects (including some revenue generation).
  • Responsible for advising on ALA plans and preparing recommendations on priorities, programs and other issues; meets regularly with other ALA managers; and
  • Communicates, cooperates and coordinates the activities, as well as related ALA committees and groups to which it has liaison
  • ODLOS works closely with the ALA ODLOS Advisory Committee and related subcommittees:
  • ALA Committee on Diversity and related subcommittees
  • ALA Committee on Literacy
  • ALA Committee on Education and
  • ALA Committee on Rural Native & Tribal Libraries of All Kinds.
  • ODLOS provides liaison to three ALA Round Tables:
  • Ethnic & Multicultural Information Exchange Round Table (EMIERT) which includes the Coretta Scott King Book Award Committee
  • Rainbow Round Table and
  • Social Responsibilities Round Table (SRRT).
  • ODLOS works with several external ALA-affiliated organizations:
  • American Indian Library Association (AILA)
  • Asian-Pacific Library Association (APALA)
  • Black Caucus of the ALA (BCALA)
  • Chinese American Library Association (CALA)
  • The National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish Speaking (REFORMA)
  • Association of Bookmobiles and Outreach Services and
  • Association of Rural and Small Libraries as well as the Board of Directors of the Joint Conference of Librarians of Color.

ODLOS participates in the National Coalition for Literacy, the National Conference on Race & Ethnicity in Higher Education, the National Council on Disability and the National Scholarship Providers Association.

ODLOS supports:

  • Spectrum Scholarship, which currently awards 50 scholarships/year, and the Spectrum Leadership Institute.
  • Diversity Research Grants program and Honoree in Diversity Research Achievement.
  • Grant-funded American Dream @ your library literacy program.
  • EMIERT Distinguished Librarian Award,
  • David Cohen/EMIERT Multicultural Award.
  • National Bookmobile Day.
  • Coretta Scott King Book Awards.
  • GLBT Book Month.
  • Stonewall Book Awards.
  • Rainbow Books and Over the Rainbow Book List; and,
  • Amelia Bloomer Project, among others.


The Director ODLOS position is based in Chicago, Illinois. The selected candidate will need to live in the area.  Relocation assistance can be provided. 

Salary:  Negotiable from mid-90s, based on relevant experience and qualifications.  ALA offers a comprehensive and valuable benefits program, plus generous paid vacation and retirement annuity.

Closing Date: Review of candidates will begin on or around Dec 1, 2020 and continue until the position is filled.

For consideration:

Application process

In addition to sending your resume, you must include a cover letter outlining the strategic value that you will bring to ALA, drawing upon your successes with issues related to diversity, adult and family literacy (including English-language learners), equity of access, and inclusion. 

Apply online including cover letter, resume and salary expectations.


Send a cover letter, resume and salary expectations to:

Mary Pullen

Sr. Human Resources Manager

American Library Association

225 N Michigan Ave

Suite 1300

Chicago, IL 60601

Ref: dirODLOS


Fax: (312) 280 5270

The American Library Association is an equal opportunity employer:  Disability/Veteran

Required Education and Experience

  • Bachelor’s degree is required. An advanced degree is preferred.  MLIS degree a plus
  • Seven years’ experience, preferably in a nonprofit and/or association environment.
  • Three years’ experience managing staff
  • General knowledge of issues related to diversity, adult and family literacy (including English-language learners), equity of access, and inclusion.
  • Collaborative management skills and strong written and verbal communication skills are required.
  • Core Competencies/Skills:
  • Effective leadership—ability to foster a team environment and work collaboratively with a wide range of people
  • Strategic, innovative, creative, future-oriented thinking
  • Ability to work collaboratively within a complex organization, and to engage effectively with members and staff with diverse perspectives (i.e., strong interpersonal skills)
  • Strong organizational skills, including the ability to effectively manage competing priorities
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills, ability to influence at various levels


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