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Associate Executive Director, Publishing

Post Date:Mar 07, 2017Type:Full time
Start Date:Salary:
Location: United States - Illinois - Chicago Job Reference:AEDPubl
Job Description:

The American Library Association (ALA), the oldest, largest and most influential library association in the world is seeking an Associate Executive Director (AED) Publishing, to head our Publishing Department. 

Founded on October 6, 1876 during the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia, the mission of ALA is “to provide leadership for the development, promotion and improvement of library and information services and the profession of librarianship in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all.” ALA is a membership association comprised of over 58,000 librarians, trustees, friends of libraries, and others. 

Reporting to ALA’s Executive Director and as a member of the ALA’s senior management team, the AED – Publishing creates the vision and develops the strategy for the Association’s largest revenue stream (approximately $12 million in annual sales) and leads a staff of over 55 employees.  The Publishing department is critical not only for its role in directly furthering ALA’s mission of librarian professional development but also in serving as one of the most important sources of financial surplus that supports many of the Association’s other key mission based activities such as advocacy, literacy, diversity and equity, and information policy and intellectual freedom.  They also play a key role in publishing materials that support LIS Education.

There are two key objectives for this position: to grow the programmatic and financial impact of the department through new product and service development and to manage the ALA’s existing portfolio of products and services to achieve their fullest potential.  Both objectives must be achieved through close collaboration with other leaders within the Association. 

The product lines within the department include: American Libraries, the controlled-circulation magazine of the association; Booklist, a subscription magazine and database of reviews; books, webinars, online courses, reports, newsletters and library promotional products, subscription databases, magazines, journals, newsletters and promotional products.

The AED has nine direct reports who manage these product lines. 

The AED is responsible for:




Develop and manage the strategic plans for each Publishing unit and the department as a whole.

Identify today’s publishing trends as well as where the field will go in the future.  The AED should be able to position ALA to be on the forefront of these trends

Stay in front of market dynamics and their influence on content development and delivery, integrate the impact of technology on product development and delivery, as well as product manufacturing,

Work with managers to identify and develop new lines of business to offset what may be growth limitations on established businesses,

Must be able to engage and communicate across ALA Divisions regarding publishing, especially those divisions that publish their own material

Manage the coordination of the member-based Council-sanctioned 10-member Publishing Committee that is responsible for Department’s budget and for controlling the ALA imprint.  The Committee also sets the framework within which ALA publishing operates by overseeing the publishing activities in all formats (print, electronic, etc.) of ALA and its publishing services department by establishing liaisons with the publishing activities of all committees and units of the association, by educating these committees and units regarding ALA publishing policies and the use of the ALA imprint, and by mediating conflicting publishing policies among these committees and units. 

Develop the Publishing budget ensuring that sales and expense forecasts are attainable; report, monthly, the publishing financial activity


ALA is looking for a leader who will take part in if not lead discussions that are going to be complex, but necessary, given the changing publishing market, the rise of library publishing in the academic sphere, and the librarian-led movement toward the use of open educational resources, including open textbooks, in the LIS pre-service and continuing professional education markets



As an employee of ALA, the AED will work in a highly passionate and dedicated environment.  The AED will also work to advance the core values of the Association relevant to publishing, e.g., access to information, intellectual freedom, diversity/equity/inclusion, and community engagement.  It is important that the AED is respectful of this and appreciates all that the ALA Community brings to the association. 

Requires strong interpersonal skills to manage a creative staff listening and understanding their ideas and needs and be responsive to their entrepreneurial spirit.  The AED will need to leverage this and use it to develop the future path of ALA Publishing

Keeping Publishing unit managers and staff focused on maintaining momentum for creating high demand content, delivering an adequate number of new book acquisitions, growing circulation, growing print as well as digital advertising revenue, creating online products, maximizing the cost of third party services such as Order Processing/Fulfillment. Achieving current goals and establishing relevant future goals.

Requires the ability to manage a great amount of detail in maintaining successful operations across all these businesses, while at the same time staying free to concentrate on the big picture and indeterminate market dynamics that constitute the source of opportunities for new ventures.

Establish and monitor profitability benchmarks, such as new book acquisitions, circulation, print and digital advertising revenue, and order processing/fulfillment.

With their Unit Managers, ensure that plans are in place for each unit for growing net revenues.

Manage the plans for controlling costs and increasing productivity in the non-revenue units (Production Services and Reprographics)

Provide oversight on outsourced services (customer service, product fulfillment and distribution, subscription fulfillment, etc.).


Salary:  Negotiable from $140,000 based on relevant experience and qualifications.  ALA offers a comprehensive and valuable benefits package that includes generous paid vacation and retirement annuity.


Closing Date:  January 13, 2017 or until position is filled.




Application Process

In addition to sending in your resume, candidates should include a cover letter outlining the strategic value that they will bring to ALA drawing upon their successes in the publishing field.


Apply online including the cover letter, resume and salary expectations,

(Additional documents are uploaded on the same screen as the resume)




Send a cover letter, resume and salary expectations to:


American Library Association

Human Resources Department

Dan Hoppe – Director, HR

Ref: AED Publisher

50 E. Huron Street

Chicago, IL 60611


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


Desired Experience


At least 15 years’ experience of increasing higher responsibility in publishing leading a well experienced staff of publishing professionals;

Demonstrated success in leading a publishing operation of between $9 and $15 million in sales 

A mix of association and commercial publishing experience ranging across such areas as: Commercial publishing business experience in areas such as the following: professional & reference books, college textbooks, advertising supported magazines (paid and controlled circulation), promotional products (e.g. posters and bookmarks); database development and sales experience.

Direct marketing and catalog marketing experience.

E-Store experience

Well versed in various publishing software platforms




Bachelor’s degree is required. An advanced degree is preferred.  A MLIS degree a plus.


The AED Publishing position is based in Chicago, Illinois.  Therefore, the selected candidate will need to reside in the area.  A relocation package will be provided.

* Indicate you saw this position on when applying.

Contact Information
American Library Association
Dan Hoppe
50 East Huron Street
Chicago, IL 60611
United States
Ph: 3122805063
Fax: 3122805270

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