Established in 1848, the Boston Public Library (BPL) is a pioneer of public library service in America. It was the first large free municipal library in the United States; the first public library to lend books; the first to have a branch library; and the first to have a children’s room. Today, under the leadership of Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh, the BPL features a central library and 25 neighborhood branches and is recognized not only locally but nationally as an historic cultural institution.
The BPL’s mission is focused on four core areas: reading and literacy; spaces and programs; reference and instruction; and special collections and cultural heritage. Within this mission, the BPL remains focused on its 123-year-old charge to remain “free to all” – a charge that runs so deep through the BPL’s history that it is etched in stone on the Library’s façade. To that end, the Library is proud to welcome everyone equally, regardless of gender, race, national origin, sexual orientation, faith, or economic status.
Today, libraries have never been more important or useful. In an era of ever-expanding horizons of knowledge, but with fewer opportunities for person-to-person connections, the Library and its branches serve as civic hubs spread across the city. Ongoing renovations and facility upgrades across the system are transforming and modernizing these critical community gathering centers, which, according to Boston Magazine (June 2018), serve as a “symbol of the city’s fiercely innovative, intellectual, and progressive spirit.”
The Boston Public Library Fund
The newly created Boston Public Library Fund (BPLF) is an independent nonprofit responsible for the development, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of philanthropic relationships and partnerships in support of the Boston Public Library for generations to come. Established in 2019, as successor to the Boston Public Library Foundation, the Fund is the primary philanthropic arm of the BPL.
Led by an experienced executive director and initially funded by six major corporations and foundations (“Founding Investors”), the Fund is charged with building a strong, sustainable and “best practices” development operation, which will attract transformational giving.
While the city of Boston provides the essential baseline funding for operations and improvements, every year hundreds of individuals, corporations and foundations support the Boston Public Library Fund. These gifts fuel experimentation and innovation to ensure that the library addresses not only the broad needs of our communities today, but also empowers the people of Boston to shape and realize an audacious future.
Reporting to the Director of Individual Giving, and working closely with the Executive Director, the Communications Officer is a vital member of the team and provides critical support in a fast-paced, lively and collegial atmosphere. Primary responsibility is for managing the multi-channel communications efforts of the Fund for the Boston Public Library including development of messaging and content that effectively stewards current donors and promotes the mission and programs of the BPL to potential donors.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities
• Create ongoing new and relevant content for all BPLF communication channels including website, press releases, social media, email, photography, video and direct mail
• Oversee and update website using WordPress, including monthly blog posts
• Manage and create content for social media channels in support of overall strategy; conduct ongoing monitoring of engagement/trends and regular reporting on performance
• Develop strategy to increase followers/engagement/traffic on social channels
• Oversee the creation and delivery of BPLF newsletter including the solicitation and creation of content, format and design, internal approvals and distribution
• Own and manage communications calendar, while also serving as the primary liason with BPL
Marketing & Communications to capitalize on the BPL’s communication channels with BPLF messaging
• Partner with various BPL departments to identify and create content for clear and concise communications and stories of impact to prospects, donors and corporate funders that can be used across various channels
• Explore virtual event opportunities
• Produce photo and video content from funder programming and events
• Serve as the cohesive BPLF brand voice across all communications and platforms, ensuring consistency of messaging and images
• Identify key metrics and tracking tools to monitor messaging, engagement, and traffic on platforms and drive strategy to increase engagement
• Collaborate with staff on other communications items such as the annual report, annual fund appeals, funder reports and endowment reports
• Participate in BPLF and BPL events and programs
• Other duties and responsibilities as assigned
Skills, and Knowledge Required
degree and minimum of 2 to 3 years of relevant professional experience in
communications and/or marketing, preferably in a nonprofit organization
ability to effectively articulate clear and compelling messages and stories
with an ability to inform, influence, and persuade
knowledge of online communication tools and experience in the design and
production of marketing materials, newsletters, direct mail, email and print
materials and campaigns, managing websites, social media, and other digital
with Adobe Creative Suite, Windows Movie Maker, In-Design, Adobe Photoshop,
iMovie, and Animoto (or similar social content creation programs)
organizational and time management skills, must meet deadlines
organizational, interpersonal and communication skills and professional
to work effectively in a collaborative problem-solving environment while also
working independently, juggling multiple priorities and deadlines, and accomplishing
tasks on time
attention to detail, writing, editing, and proofreading skills
appreciation of the valuable role that libraries play in our society