Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance

Community Organizer

About Us

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 is investing hundreds of millions of dollars to revitalize deteriorating parks, rec centers, and libraries. As Rebuild progresses, we expect that this new investment will provide unique opportunities to increase support for Friends groups and community members who are interested in stewarding neighborhood libraries and public spaces.

In addition to working with the Friends and library staff, the Community Organizer will work with Friends members, reading captains, and Read by 4th staff to help build up community influence, vision, impact, and capacity for this campaign. Read by 4th is a citywide literacy campaign made up of coalition partners throughout Philadelphia that aims to bring all children up to reading level by fourth grade.

This is a 2 year grant funded Foundation position with the possibility to transition into other roles if funding allows.

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

  • Developing and supporting library Friends groups across the City
  • 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 to create and implement a neighborhood specific community engagement plan
  • Supporting City-Wide library advocacy
  • Working with Friends members, reading captains, parents, and Read by 4th staff to help build up community influence, vision and capacity for the Read by 4th campaign
  • Preparing library Friends groups to participate in the Rebuild community engagement process   as relevant
  • Supporting library staff and administrators in their work to create a regional coalition of organizations and individuals working to improve their communities



  • 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 good faith commitment to working within assigned neighborhoods for at least 2 years
  • A bachelor’s degree in a relevant field or additional community organizing experience
  • Ability to work frequent evening and weekend hours
  • Ability to travel throughout the City. Possessing a valid driver’s license preferred


Additional Desired Qualifications

  • 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 working or living in South Philadelphia a plus    

This position 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-$42,000 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

The Community Organizer will work with Friends members, reading captains, and Read by 4th staff to help build up community influence, vision, impact, and capacity for this campaign