Job Posting: Executive Director PaILS

Scott ThomasUncategorized


The Pennsylvania Integrated Library System (PaILS) seeks a dynamic Executive Director with strong leadership and communication skills, strategic vision, and a track record of building strong customer relationships and delivering customer-centric solutions. The Executive Director is the chief operating officer of PaILS, a non-profit corporation, and is charged with implementing the organization’s policies and programs, exercising administrative oversight of all the affairs and finances of the consortium, overseeing the technical operation of the Pennsylvania library open-source software consortium, known as SPARK, and developing and implementing long-term organizational and strategic goals.Currently, PaILS has two FTEs and is supported through a combination of member fees and Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) funds provided by PA’s Office of Commonwealth Libraries (OCL).

SPARK is a comprehensive, remotely hosted, “one-price” solution for over 140libraries in Pennsylvania. The software includes circulation, cataloging,serials, and acquisitions functionality. The online library catalog for library end-users offers the enhanced functionality found in the most expensive commercial discovery layers. SPARK utilizes the Evergreen open source integrated library system (ILS). Evergreen is currently available in over 1,000 libraries, both in the US and internationally, and has an active and growing community of developers and users.  


The Executive Director provides overall leadership for PaILS and reports to a nine-member volunteer board of directors. The successful candidate will plan and manage the operations of the SPARK system to ensure system reliability and high-quality functioning for member libraries and other stakeholders. The Executive Director is also responsible for building relationships, and developing and implementing strategies for collaboration with the various PaILS stakeholders to ensure the effective operation of SPARK for Pennsylvania libraries. Key stakeholders include SPARK member libraries, the larger Evergreen open source community, key technology partners, and other library partner organizations within the Commonwealth. The new Executive Director will lead system staff in fostering an environment of collaboration, trust, and transparency that propels continual development of the SPARK system. Day-to-day administrative oversight of PaILS operations and grant writing are also key responsibilities.


 While the ideal candidate may not possess all of the qualities listed below, s/he will possess many of the following professional and personal abilities,attributes, and experiences:

  • Master’s Degree in Library Science (MLS) from an ALA-accredited institution (preferred) or equal experience and advanced education;
  • Experience in business administration or a strong foundational knowledge of the principles of business administration, financial planning, and organizational management, with a minimum of five years of experience as a proven leader and administrator including a demonstration of:
    • excellent written and verbal communication skills;
    • ability to collaborate with a board of directors to achieve an organizational mission and implementation of successful development practices;
    • ability to work with diverse stakeholders to achieve the organizational mission and goals, including proactive community relations,outreach, and advocacy;
    • administrative and supervisory experience, along with experience in the management and leadership of member committees and cross-functional teams;and
    • federal grant-writing experience.
  • Strong knowledge of and technology management experience ideally with integrated library systems or technology systems designed for information management and consortial collaboration;
  • Experience in building relationships with customers such as libraries, library organizations and consortia, state and local government officials and legislators;
  • Experience in managing RFI and RFQ processes, product evaluations,and developing service level agreements and negotiating costs with vendor partners;
  • Experience in conducting presentations and exhibits at conferences;
  • Residence in Pennsylvania or willingness to become Pennsylvania resident.  
  • Willingness and ability to travel extensively throughout Pennsylvania.

SALARY: Minimum salary of $75,000 annually and a generous benefit’s package.


Interested individuals who meet these criteria should submit a single email containing a resume, a cover letter, and three professional references in PDF format to no later than 01/21/19. Further details about specific job responsibilities or questions may also be sent to the same email address. Review of applications and interviews will begin immediately and will be ongoing until the position is filled.

Scott ThomasJob Posting: Executive Director PaILS

Catasauqua Library Joins SPARK-Automated for the first time!


PaILS is happy to announce that the Public Library of Catasauqua went live on SPARK yesterday! Catasauqua joins the other Lehigh Carbon libraries already on SPARK– Coplay Public Library, Dimmick Memorial Library (Jim Thorpe), Emmaus Public Library, Lehighton Area Memorial Library, Lower Macungie Public Library, Palmerton Area Library, Parkland Community Library, Slatington Public Library, Southern Lehigh Public Library and Whitehall Township Public Library. The Lehigh Carbon Library Cooperative (LCLC) libraries will share common patron borrowing policies and common circulation policies, giving local patrons a seamless library experience.  Catasauqua was not automated before joining SPARK, so this is the first time the public has online access to Catty’s 18,000+ items.

PaILS and SPARK is happy to play a part in helping the LCLC libraries in their vision of “Growing communities together”.


lugeneCatasauqua Library Joins SPARK-Automated for the first time!

Welcome to Lower Macungie Library!


Today the Lower Macungie Library in Macungie, PA goes live on SPARK! The library serves Lower Macungie Township and Alburtis Borough in Lehigh County. Welcome to Kathee and Natalie and their staff and patrons.

lugeneWelcome to Lower Macungie Library!

Welcome to the Lehigh Carbon Counties Cooperative Libraries!


This week SPARK welcomed six new libraries. Dimmick Memorial, Lehighton Area Memorial, Palmerton, Parkland Community, Southern Lehigh, and Slattington went live on SPARK on Thursday, August 16.

They’re joining three other Lehigh-Carbon Libraries –Emmaus, Whitehall and Coplay  in SPARK, and soon Lower Macungie and Catasauqua will join. Catasauqua is not presently automated,  but will be when they join SPARK! Congratulations, and WELCOME to all!

lugeneWelcome to the Lehigh Carbon Counties Cooperative Libraries!

Potter Tioga Library System Live on SPARK!

Scott ThomasUncategorized

All members of the Potter-Tioga Library System are now live on SPARK! Here they are:

Blossburg Memorial Library
Coudersport Public Library
Elkland Area Community Library
Galeton Public Library
Genesee Area Library
Knoxville Public Library
Mansfield Free Public Library
Oswayo Valley Memorial Library
Ulysses Library
Westfield Public Library

They join the Green Free Public Library in Wellsboro which has been on SPARK from the beginning. This brings the number of live SPARK libraries to 111.

Red libraries are 2018 migrations.

Scott ThomasPotter Tioga Library System Live on SPARK!

Resource Sharing Trials Posts Big Numbers!

Scott ThomasUncategorized

On October 3rd the Lackawanna County Library System, Cambria County Library System, and Altoona Area Public Library began a resource sharing pilot. This was the first time non-neighboring, non-related libraries have shared resources via SPARK. During October 628 items were circulated to patrons through this pilot, and this is just the start. Thank you to the staff at all of these libraries for making this a success.

Scott ThomasResource Sharing Trials Posts Big Numbers!

Shamokin-Coal Twp. Public Library Goes Live on SPARK!

Scott ThomasUncategorized

The Shamokin-Coal Township Public Library in Northumberland County is now live on SPARK! A big thank you to Equinox and everyone who helped to migrate them in record time. They were on an older system with a fragile server. Getting their data out before the server blew up was a challenge, but we did it! Welcome!

The migration wasn’t THAT scary.

Scott ThomasShamokin-Coal Twp. Public Library Goes Live on SPARK!