Community Organizer: Full-time Permanent

DEPARTMENT:                     Strategic Initiatives 

POSITION:                            Community Organizer

CLASSIFICATION:               Exempt, Full-Time

REPORTS TO:                      Director of Community Initiatives

About Us

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.  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. 

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.  

The City of Philadelphia is undergoing a massive investment in its public spaces. Rebuilding Community Infrastructure (Rebuild) is the program that is investing hundreds of millions of dollars to revitalize deteriorating parks, recreation centers, and libraries. As Rebuild progresses, we expect that this new investment will provide unique opportunities to engage local communities and develop community centered spaces.

Library Friends groups are independent community groups that support and steward individual neighborhood libraries as well as the Free Library system as a whole. They serve as the bridge between the library and the community by: informing library staff of community issues and needs; facilitating opportunities for the library to partner with the community in addressing those needs; promoting the library and its programs and 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.

This is a minimum 1.5 year grant funded position with the possibility to continue or transition into other roles if funding allows. However, none of this is guaranteed.

The Position

The community organizer will implement and coordinate community engagement for the Rebuild project at the Paschalville Library. This includes researching and implementing creative engagement strategies that address the current needs and reality of each community. Capacity and relationship building for Friends groups, community ambassadors, and staff will be central to the work. Additionally, the community organizer will work with community members, library staff, partners, and content experts to understand the ways that technology could be used to support community needs, piloting and implementing projects as needed.  While the focus of this position will be supporting the Paschalville neighborhood and library, the community organizer will also assist with engagement across the City as needs arise.

Responsibilities: The primary responsibilities of the Community Organizer will consist of, but are not limited to, the following duties:

  • Working with Friends groups and community ambassadors to participate in the Rebuild community engagement process
  • Recruiting, coordinating, and training community ambassadors
  • Coordinating and communicating with a wide variety of stakeholders involved in the Rebuild process around the engagement plan, data collection and analysis, communication, etc.
  • Building long-term relationships between the library and neighborhood organizations, stakeholders, and community members
  • Providing targeted outreach to non-library users to understand how the library can better serve the needs of that neighborhood
  • Training and supporting staff in their community engagement work
  • Working with library staff, partners, and community members to implement and adjust a neighborhood specific community engagement plan
  • Working with Friends groups at neighborhood libraries and citywide as needed, including starting and developing new groups
  • Supporting community engagement projects and initiatives across the City as they arise 


  • A minimum of one year of community organizing experience. Additional experience preferred
  • Experience facilitating community meetings and creating outreach and engagement plans
  • A demonstrated commitment to and experience with community empowerment, capacity building, training, and leadership development
  • Ability to work collaboratively with staff and community partners to build upon existing community relationships
  • Ability to meet people where they are at and support their personal and professional development
  • Ability to work with diverse populations and acknowledge the variety of experiences that individuals have with institutions such as the library
  • A bachelor’s degree in a relevant field or additional community organizing experience
  • Ability to work regular evening and weekend hours
  • Ability to travel throughout the City. Possessing a valid driver’s license preferred
  • Comfortable using Microsoft suite, google docs, and virtual meeting platforms

Additional Desired Qualifications

  • Experience working or living in Southwest Philadelphia a big plus
  • Fluency in a language other than English
  • Understanding of the history and economic condition of Philadelphia neighborhoods as well as the underlying political and social influences 

This position with the Free Library of Philadelphia Foundation has a Full Benefit Package including Health, dental, life, and disability insurances; flex benefits and retirement plan; generous leave time allowance. The salary range is $40,000-$44,000 commensurate with experience.

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 Organizer” in the subject line to:

Send resume and cover letter to:

Miriam Holzman-Lipsitz
Director of Community Initiatives
Strategic Initiatives
1901 Vine Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103
Email: (Attachments in Microsoft Word or PDF, please)

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