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Director of Library Services

Director of Library Services

Palm Desert, CA, USA

Palm Desert, CA, USA

City of Palm Desert

Greg Nelson and Bryan Noblett


Lead Recruiter

Director of Library Services

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Imagine … the opportunity to build library facilities and services from the ground up, free from the constraints of the past – all in a community that is well funded and supportive of its library system. If you are the type of leader that views this as an enticing challenge, read on.


Palm Desert is a vibrant and beautiful city located in the heart of the Coachella Valley of Southern California. With a population of over 53,000 residents, Palm Desert is a popular destination for tourists and a thriving community for residents. The city is known for its excellent quality of life, with a diverse and inclusive community, exceptional educational opportunities, and access to world-class healthcare. The City of Palm Desert is an excellent place to work, with a strong commitment to attracting and retaining top talent who are aligned with a focus on community service and improvement.


After several months of discussion and gathering information, the City Council directed staff to move the library operations from an external contract with Riverside County to an internal operation. The new municipal library has the expectation to be a customer focused, high performing, effective, efficient, innovative, vibrant, and program-based library services model that integrates best practices for residents and guests.

As a result, Palm Desert will now hire a new Director of Library Services, who will report directly to the City Manager’s Office, to lead the planning, programming, and transition for the City to assume operations of its current library facility on July 1, 2024. Initially the City will continue operations at its current facility, located at the College of the Desert, while it plans, constructs, and transitions to one or two new facilities. The new library (or libraries) will provide innovative and creative services that complement its regional counterparts.

In the current year, the Director will oversee a budget of $1 million as the City prepares to assume operations in 2024. The FY 24/25 budget, once the City has assumed operations, will be $2.7 million. The Director will develop a staffing plan for library services that is reflective of the expectations, as well as create policies, and facilitate the logistics of establishing new operations. The position will work with the City’s library task force in garnering community input and ideas for library services.

The Director of Library Services will manage all resources of the library, including staff, materials, budgets and other funding. Additionally, the Director will develop and administer policies, annual and long-term master plans, and promote a fully automated, user-friendly and innovative library environment.


Any combination of training and experience that would provide the required knowledge, skills, and abilities is qualifying.  A typical way to obtain the required qualifications would be:

  • Education: Master of Library Science or equivalent degree from an ALA accredited college or university.

  • Experience: Six years of progressively responsible library service experience, including three years of personnel management and administrative responsibility.


The hiring range for the Director of Library Services is +/- $180,000 dependent on qualifications. An excellent executive benefit package is provided, including retirement through CalPERS. Classic CalPERS members are eligible for the 2% @ 55 formula, while PEPRA members are eligible for 2% @ 62.

The City also offers a voluntary deferred compensation program — 457 and 401a with 2% City match to the 401a program; a retiree health savings account with a 1% contribution that the city matches; city paid long-term disability insurance; an educational incentive program; and up to $5,000 of relocation assistance reimbursement.

For a list of additional benefits, interested candidates are encouraged to review the detailed recruitment brochure by clicking on the .pdf link on this page.


This recruitment will be handled with strict confidentiality. References will not be contacted until mutual interest has been established. Confidential inquiries are welcomed to Greg Nelson or Bryan Noblett at (916) 550-4100.

Interested candidates are encouraged to apply below immediately, as this recruitment will close early once a sufficiently strong pool of stellar candidates has been established.

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