Free Library of Philadelphia

Pt-time Community Capacity Building Assistant, Free Library of Philadelphia

Posted on May 7, 2018

The mission of the Free Library of Philadelphia is to advance literacy, guide learning, and inspire curiosity. Its vision is to build an enlightened community devoted to lifelong learning.  The Free Library of Philadelphia Foundation develops resources to expand, enhance, and support the services, collections, building programs, and other activities of the Free Library of Philadelphia.

Libraries are no longer buildings only filled with books. They are community learning centers that aim to address community needs. We are not waiting for patrons to come into the building. We are taking our work out into the community to meet people where they are and learn more about how we can better serve the neighborhood.

Library Friends groups are independent community groups that support and steward individual neighborhood libraries as well as the Free Library system as a whole. The Friends groups are a vital component of the library system and insuring that we are a community centered institution.  They serve as the bridge between the library and the community by: informing library staff of community issues and needs and facilitating opportunities for the library to partner with the community in addressing those needs; promoting the library and its educational, informational, and cultural resources; developing and implementing community programming; raising funds to augment the library’s budget; educating local and State policymakers on issues facing the library and the community; and much more.

The City of Philadelphia is undergoing a massive investment in its public spaces. Rebuilding Community Infrastructure (Rebuild) is the program that will invest hundreds of millions of dollars to revitalize deteriorating parks, rec centers, and libraries. A big part of the impact of this program will be the community capacity building work that will take place in addition to the capital improvements. This new investment provides a unique opportunity to increase the amount of support for Friends groups and community members who are interested in stewarding neighborhood libraries and public spaces.

This is a 23 month grant funded  Foundation position with the possibility to transition into other roles if funding allows.

RESPONSIBILITIES: The primary responsibilities of the 20 hr per week Community Capacity Building Assistant will consist of, but are not limited to, the following duties:

-Providing logistical support for library Friends groups
-Managing communications including reports, a newsletter, and social media accounts
-Planning events and meetings including making outreach calls, managing RSVPs, managing logistics, etc.
-Providing support and an extra pair of hands to library community organizers and outreach staff
-Attending outreach events and community meetings as needed
-Managing paperwork including expenses, contact lists, files, etc.
-Supporting library Friends groups in finding and writing small grants
-Supporting the manager of community relations in coordinating community engagement work and initiatives across the City
-Additional projects based on the skills and interests of the staff member


-Extremely organized
-Self-starter who is able to work independently
-Strong written and in-person communications skills
-Basic-intermediate knowledge of the Microsoft suite, including excel
-Comfortable with public speaking and doing outreach in any neighborhood in Philadelphia
-Ability to work occasional evening and weekend hours
-Ability to travel throughout the City
-Experience working with diverse individuals and communities
-An Associate’s degree in a relevant field or community engagement experience

Additional Desired Qualifications
-Experience doing community engagement a huge plus
-Fluency in a language other than English a plus
-Understanding of the history and economic condition of Philadelphia neighborhoods as well as the underlying political and social influences
-Experience planning and running community meetings
-A good faith commitment to working in this position for the full 23 months strongly preferred

Interviews will be held on a rolling basis with the position starting as soon as the applicant is available Pennsylvania State Child Abuse Clearance, FBI Fingerprint Clearance, and a Pennsylvania Criminal Background Clearance are required to be obtained before employment begins

To apply: Please e-mail cover letter and resume with “Community Capacity Building Assistant” in the subject line to:

The Free Library of Philadelphia Foundation is an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer. Minorities and LGBTQ individuals are encouraged to apply.

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